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Upgrading Culture in Sustainable Development: The Time is Now

As part of the #CitiesAreListening Experiences, UCLG, together with UN Habitat and Metropolis, and in partnership with the Culture2030Goal campaign, Rome City Council and Palaexpo, organize an online meeting on April 20, 2021 (15.00 – 17.00 CEST) entitled ‘Upgrading Culture in Sustainable Development: The Time is Now”.

The meeting aims at consolidating a dialogue between global cultural civil society networks and local and regional governments in the frame of the UCLG Pact for the Future. In particular, the session will give visibility to the Culture2030 campaign, of which the IFCCD is a partner. The president of the IFCCD, Beat Santschi, will participate in this meeting. 

READ THE CONCEPT NOTE

Internship offer: project manager

As part of the LOJIQ – Les Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec internship program, the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity is recruiting an intern to work as a project manager. This internship will take place from April 26 to July 16, 2021, at a rate of 35 hours per week.

Internship Environment

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) is dedicated to coordinating civil society efforts to implement the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

Mission

The intern will be responsible for writing a report on civil society participation in the promotion and protection of the diversity of cultural expressions in Asia for the IFCCD. This report is to guide the organization in determining the role that the IFCCD can play in the region to meet the needs of civil society. While part of the project will be based on document analysis, it will primarily be a survey of individuals identified as part of this project. The successful candidate will be required to speak directly with several individuals from different cultures to conduct the survey.

Participant Profile

Eligibility Criteria
– Be between the ages of 18 and 35
– Canadian citizen or permanent resident
– Have a valid Quebec health insurance card (RAMQ)
– Have completed their studies or all the courses in their academic program and have only the internship to complete before graduation
– Be unemployed or underemployed (hold a part-time job in a field not related to their training)
– Self-employed persons are also eligible

Desired profile
– Have recently obtained or be about to obtain a master’s degree in political science, sociology, communications, international relations, Asian studies or any other field relevant to the mandate
– Be rigorous, curious and have a good analytical mind
– Be flexible and able to meet deadlines
– Be able to work in a team
– Be transparent and have a constructive approach
– Be very autonomous due to the telecommuting context
– Fluency in oral and written French
– Knowledge of an Asian language (an asset)

Compensation

Financial support from LOJIQ
– A per diem of $350 per week for 12 weeks
– Civil liability insurance coverage

Financial support from the IFCCD
– An allowance of $3,000

Application deadline: April 5, 2021

APPLY

 

14th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention

The IFCCD is participating in the fourteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions taking place online from February 1 to 6, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on cultural and creative industries. Around the world, lockdown measures have significantly affected the livelihoods of artists and cultural professionals, while reducing cultural production and access to a diverse range of cultural expressions. In this context, and in that of the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, which was declared by the United Nations General Assembly, the Committee will consider major issues related to the Convention that have been brought to the forefront by the COVID-19 pandemic: the status of artists and cultural professionals, the protection of the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment and preferential treatment for cultural goods and services.

The Committee will also consider new funding requests submitted to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity in the framework of its 11th call for applications, and reflect on the current and future functioning of this fundamental mechanism to implement the Convention. The fourteenth session of the Committee will also examine a preliminary analysis of the conclusions of the ResiliArt movement, launched by UNESCO on 15 April 2020 to sound the alarm on the impact of the global health crisis on the cultural and creative sector, and now embraced by more than 100 countries from all regions of the world.

Delegates: 

Beat Santschi (Swiss Coalition, IFCCD President), Bill Skolnik (Canadian Coalition), Mane Nett (Chilean Coalition, IFCCD Vice-President for the Americas), Helena Vasques de Carvalho (Portuguese Coalition), Luanda Smith (Creatividad y Cultura Glocal), Mahamadou Adamou (Nigerien Coalition), Guillaume Prieur (French Coalition, IFCCD Secretary), Hiroko Tsuboi-Friedman (IFCCD Individual Member), Holly Aylett (UK Coalition), Klara Kostal (Austrian Coalition), Momo Diakité (Malian Coalition), Nathalie Guay (IFCCD General Secretary).

Speeches:

ALL SPEECHES

Video of the conference “The Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Latin America: Current and Future Challenges”

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Federation organized on October 20 an online conference on the current and future challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions in Latin America.

This conference was held within the framework of ResiliArt, a global movement initiated by UNESCO to strengthen the resilience of artists & cultural professionals in the face of the enormous challenges posed by the current health crisis.

Watch the video

2005 UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: a tool for the Latin American cultural sector

The International Federation of Coalitions for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is organizing a training program* in Latin America on the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

*The training will be held in Spanish.

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), the German Commission for UNESCO, Creatividad y Cultura Glocal, the U40 Network and the Chilean and Paraguayan Coalitions for Cultural Diversity

INVITE

Artists, creators, independent producers, distributors, broadcasters and publishers in the book, film, television, music, performing and visual arts sectors, cultural professionals from the public and private sectors and civil society organizations in Latin America to participate in the Spanish language training program

“2005 UNESCO Convention for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: a tool for the Latin American cultural sector”

from 6 to 28 November 2020.

The program aims to mobilize cultural networks in Latin America and to reach people who are already doing the work of the 2005 UNESCO Convention in their local area but may not be aware of it. The aim is to give them opportunities to expand their networks at the national and regional levels, to provide a better understanding of the tools they have at their disposal to defend and promote Latin American cultural expressions and their diversity, to increase the visibility and reach of the IFCCD in Latin America, and to bring the Convention closer to professionals in the public, private or civil society sectors who are already working in or want to work in the cultural sector.

REGISTRATION AND SELECTION :

– The program is free and the number of places is limited.
– You can register online: https://bit.ly/3cPYT0W
– The deadline for receipt of applications is October 23, 2020.
– Selected participants will be notified by e-mail on October 30.

PROGRAM FORMAT :

This online training consists of eight sessions in November. The duration of each session is 2 hours, for a total of 16 hours for the program. 

PROGRAM AND TERMS

EVENT PAGE IN SPANISH

The Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Latin America: Current and Future Challenges

The IFCCD is organizing a regional virtual conference* on October 20 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm (UTC-3) on current and future challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions in Latin America. 

This conference is organized within the framework of ResiliArt, a global movement initiated by UNESCO, which aims to strengthen the resilience of artists and cultural professionals in the face of the enormous challenges posed by the current health crisis.

*The conference will be held in Spanish.

The IFCCD wishes to take advantage of the 15th anniversary of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the Day of Cultural Diversity in Chile to raise awareness, inform and mobilize Latin American civil society around the Convention.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on Latin American cultural environment. The containment measures related to the pandemic have severely limited capacities for the creation, production and distribution of cultural expressions in the region. Today, some Latin American countries continue to face a very unstable health situation, while others are beginning a recovery process that promises to be long and difficult for the creative community. The crisis has exacerbated inequalities in access to cultural goods and services. It has considerably weakened the professional, social and economic situation of many artists and cultural professionals and has seriously affected the already fragile cultural ecosystems of the countries in the region. The crisis has also led to abuses and violations of cultural rights. It has finally created a very paradoxical situation: while creators and professionals in the sector have found themselves in a dramatic economic situation, the giants of the Web have made huge profits from the dissemination of cultural content online.

The objective of the conference is to present the 2005 Convention, its clauses, principles, its relevance in the current context of crisis and the means to use it to meet the challenges faced by cultural organizations in the region. The conference is aimed at artists, creators, cultural professionals and civil society organizations and should enable them to learn more about the tools available to them to defend and promote Latin American cultural expressions. It also aims to stimulate mobilization at the local and regional level, within the framework of existing networks such as the IFCCD, through the formation of national coalitions.

CONSULT THE PROGRAM (in Spanish)

Video of the event “Culture: An Accelerator Under-Used?”

The partners of the #Culture2030Goal campaign are today releasing a video underlining why – and how – culture should be integrated into both short-term post-pandemic recovery strategies, and long-term development strategies. The video features highlights from the campaign’s event “Culture – An Accelerator Under-Used? Realising the Potential of Culture for Short-term and Long-term Sustainable Development” held on 13 July 2020 as part of the United Nations High Level Political Forum 2020 (HLPF2020), which brought together high-level representatives from the United Nations and its agencies, and major culture networks.

WATCH THE VIDEO

READ THE PRESS RELEASE

Culture: An Accelerator Under-Used?

On 20 April 2020, the partners of the #culture2030goal campaign released a Statement on Culture and the COVID-19 pandemic. Signed by eight international cultural networks, the statement is framed by our commitment to the 2030 Agenda and the need to guarantee culture is at the heart of the UN Decade of Action for the SDGs.

Entitled “Ensuring culture fulfills its potential in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic”, the statement’s preamble emphasizes:
“With the world faced with the COVID-19 pandemic today and the need to rebuild our societies tomorrow, culture should be at the heart of the response. Culture brings inspiration, comfort and hope into people’s lives. To harness this potential, the Culture 2030 Goal movement, in the context of its engagement in the United Nations 2030 Agenda, calls on UN agencies, governments and all other stakeholders to act.”

The statement is endorsed by the President of the United Nations General Assembly, His Excellency Mr Tijjani Muhammad-Bande. See the press release.

The official launch of the Statement took place on 21 May 2020 (17h00-18h00 CEST), the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The date illustrates the commitment of the campaign to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the need to ensure that culture is at the heart of the UN Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals. Check out the concept note of the meeting for more information.

The Statement will be the object of an event entitled “Culture – An Accelerator Under-Used? Realising the Potential of Culture for Short-term and Long-term Sustainable Development” and organised in the context of the United Nations High Level Political Forum 2020 (HLPF2020) on next 13 July 2020. 

SEE THE FLYER

2020 Cultural Diversity Prize

Since 2011, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity has been awarding an annual prize to an association or initiative whose aim is to promote access to culture and to highlight cultural diversity in all its forms: music, theatre, circus, cinema, plastic arts… All disciplines are eligible.

This year, the prize is celebrating its 10th edition in a difficult context.

The members of the French Coalition have therefore decided to award two prizes, each endowed with €5,000.

Applications can be submitted online using the form available HERE until 25 September 2020.

The applications will be examined by a jury composed of cultural organizations members of the French Coalition and the names of the winning organizations will be published on the Coalition’s website in autumn 2020.

See the conditions and eligibility criteria for the 2020 Prize.

Videos of the 6th IFCCD Congress

The 6th IFCCD Congress was held in Lomé, Togo, from October 9 to 11, 2019.

It was divided into a pan-African conference and a general assembly of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), and brought together 85 participants from 28 countries, including 16 African countries, for three days.

The speakers presented their actions and discussed pan-African and international issues in seven panels, each of which was the subject of an online summary.

Read the reports

 

Panel videos can be viewed online:

Opening Day 1 

 

 

 

 

Panel 1 : The implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region

>>> Read the article : The implementation of the 2005 Convention in the African region

 

 

Panel 2 : Public policies for culture

>>> Read the article : Public policies for culture

 

 

 

Panel 3 : Civil society participation in public policy development

>>> Read the article : Civil society participation in public policy development

 

 

 

Panel 4 : Addressing the major challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions

>>> Read the article : Addressing the major challenges for the diversity of cultural expressions

 

 

Opening Day 2

 

 

 

 

Panel 5 : Civil society challenges elsewhere in the world

>>> Read the article : Civil society challenges elsewhere in the world

 

 

 

Panels 6 and 7 : The challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet / Facing the challenges of the future through innovation

>>> Read the article : The new realities of the globalized market for the dissemination of digital cultural content and the challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet

>>> Read the article : Facing the challenges of the future through innovation

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Launch of the #Culture2030Goal Statement

The campaign #culture2030goal has released a Statement on Culture and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its official launch will take place on 21 May 2020, the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. The date illustrates the commitment of the campaign to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda and the need to ensure that culture is at the heart of the UN Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The IFCCD will be represented by its President, Beat Santschi.

Check out the concept note of the meeting for more information.

Protecting culture in trade agreements

The International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) produced a series of videos on the protection of culture in trade agreements.

The videos cover the history of cultural protection in free trade agreements, the challenge of the national treatment clause, the content and scope of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the role of civil society and the issue of digital trade. These short videos (between 2 and 7 minutes each) are based on longer interviews with three experts on these issues:

  • Solange Drouin, Co-Chair of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, Vice-President, Public Affairs, and Chief Executive of ADISQ,
  • Véronique Guèvremont, Professor at the Faculty of Law of Université Laval, Quebec (Canada), and holder of the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,
  • Peter Grant, Senior Counsel and past Chair of the Technology, Communications and Intellectual Property Group at McCarthy Tétrault.

History

National Treatment Clause

The 2005 UNESCO Convention

The role of civil society

The challenge of digital trade

 

See long versions

INTERVIEW WITH S. DROUIN (in French)

INTERVIEW WITH V. GUÈVREMONT (in French)

INTERVIEW WITH P. GRANT

 

 

Cultural Diversity and COVID-19: The Road to Recovery

UNESCO will hold the second ResiliArt debate in partnership with the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity on May 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. (Paris time).

The containment measures related to the COVID-19 pandemic have severely affected the creative sectors, limiting the capacity to create, produce and distribute cultural expressions worldwide. The deconfinement phase will allow a gradual resumption of activities compatible with the physical distancing measures. Artists, cultural professionals, cultural institutions, small and medium-sized enterprises, associations, organizations and governments must reflect on the revival of the sector in a context where the VIDOC-19 pandemic remains a major threat to human health. The cultural activities that can be resumed will be subject to constraints that will have significant human and financial impacts. Some activities will only be able to resume in the very long term, particularly those that depend on international mobility. The situation therefore requires a higher level of public support than usual, as well as a review of business models, in order to maintain diverse, sustainable and dynamic cultural ecosystems.

The recovery of the cultural sector faces major challenges globally, such as:

  • Inequalities between countries are likely to be exacerbated by the crisis. Developing countries are calling for international cultural cooperation, already fragile and tenuous before the pandemic, to address the situation, in a context where efforts are mainly concentrated at the national level.  
  • Domestically, the situation threatens the weakest links in the cultural ecosystem. There is a significant risk of increased inequalities affecting women, indigenous peoples and persons belonging to minorities in particular.
  • While the transition to the digital environment is accelerating, cultural policies are often not adapted to deal with rapid technological developments. Large multinational companies are monopolizing markets without contributing to the cultural ecosystems in terms of funding, discoverability or copyright protection.
  • The already significant digital divide between countries and regions could become even more pronounced at a time when the world is facing a pressing need for innovation. While the crisis precipitates the transition to the digital environment, the development of necessary systems and platforms requires scientific, technical and economic resources that are inequitably distributed.

ResiliArt

UNESCO launched the ResiliArt movement in April 2020 and organized a first debate on April 15 with CISAC. The second debate will take place on May 14 and UNESCO has chosen to partner with IFCCD, which is proud to co-present the event.

ResiliArt is a global movement that consists of a series of virtual debates with key industry professionals and artists—both renown and emerging—that raises awareness of the far-reaching impact of the current containment measures on the cultural sector. It aims to support Member States in the development of policies and financial mechanisms that can help individuals and creative communities overcome the crisis.

This ResiliArt debate will be structured around four key themes:

  • The constraints faced by cultural professionals, creators and artists in resuming their activities and the measures put in place to support them;
  • The adoption of measures and policies to support and promote the diversity of cultural expressions, particularly in the digital environment;
  • New international relations and modalities of cultural cooperation;
  • The sustainability of new forms of creation and of the expression of cultural diversity.

Format

The debate will take place on May 14, from 2pm to 4pm (Paris time). After two rounds of questions, the public will have the opportunity to ask questions to the panelists during a Q&A session.

The panelists will be led by a moderator. They will answer tailored questions while engaging in a dialogue and building and reacting to other speakers’ responses.

The debate will take place on an existing online platform that allows unlimited number of audiences to follow the discussions as well as post questions using a chat function.

Participants

The debate will be moderated by UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ernesto Ottone. Participants, representing different geographical regions and artistic disciplines, will include:

  • Anitta, Singer, songwriter and actress (Brazil)
  • Ferne Downey, Actress and President of the International Federation of Actors (Canada)
  • Cheick Oumar Sissoko, Film director and Secretary-General of the Pan-African Federation of Filmmakers (Mali)
  • Pascal Rogard, Director General of the Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers (France)
  • Fouzia Saeed, Director General of the National Arts Council of Pakistan (Pakistan)
  • Mohamed Saif Al-Afkham, President of the International Theatre Institute (United Arab Emirates)
  • Jana Vozarova, CEO of LITA, Society of authors (Slovakia)

Join the debate

You will be able to follow the debate using the link below. The link will go live on May 14, 2020.

http://unesco.org/resiliart-debate

READ THE CONCEPT NOTE 

Support for the cultural sector is growing around the world… unevenly

We quickly realized that the cultural sector was going to suffer enormously from the Covid-19 pandemic. A multitude of shows, performances, festivals, film shoots, book fairs and other cultural events were cancelled, and many cultural spaces, bookstores, cinemas and museums closed their doors.

All over the world, initiatives from artists, civil society organizations, funding agencies and businesses have emerged, followed in several countries by announcements of support for the cultural sector.

The IFCCD initially hesitated to take stock of these initiatives, as others have begun work and the situation is evolving rapidly. The IFCCD is doing so today primarily to support its members who want their governments to put in place measures to support artists, creators, professionals and organizations in the cultural sector. The analysis is therefore limited to countries where the IFCCD has members or partners.

While not perfect, this brief overview shows that support measures are rare outside of the world’s richest countries. In some countries there are even declines. This is a situation of great concern for the diversity of cultural expressions, both locally and internationally, and it risks further deepening global inequalities in the circulation of cultural goods and services. In many countries, cultural policies were already weak or even absent. Greater reliance may need to be placed on solidarity and community networks to provide some support to the cultural sector in these countries, but also on the role that organizations such as UNESCO can and should play internationally.

READ THE INVENTORY OF MEASURES

Culture in times of pandemic: a remedy that needs to be taken care of

On April 22, UNESCO organized the first virtual meeting of Ministers of Culture. The meeting lasted more than seven hours and gave the floor to 130 ministers from all continents. The IFCCD team attended the meeting and was thus able to improve its monitoring of measures in support of the cultural sector, but also to identify a number of global issues and opportunities for culture in times of pandemic.

  1. Recognition of the importance of culture

Most ministers stressed the invaluable contribution of culture in helping people through the crisis. Several of them illustrated the social function of culture or associated culture with a right:

  • Culture and art are powerful tools of struggle that can help us overcome the common challenge (Jordan)
  • The right to culture is not a luxury, it is a pillar for our economies and for the achievement of sustainable development goals (Germany)
  • We experiment therapy through art, book, smile (Armenia)
  • Culture is the foundation of society (Netherlands)
  • Culture is a process of humanization, with a restorative power. The pandemic is frightening, culture will be able to save us, while waiting for a vaccine (Argentina)
  • Culture is a means of communication and protection against stress. Cross-cutting public policies are needed to make culture a human right (Panama)
  • Culture is a form of resistance (Bahrain)
  • Culture is a common good, a right for citizens. It has a role of social cohesion. The crisis shows that culture can be a lifeline. Its contribution to physical and mental well-being must be recognized (Spain)

Several ministers stressed the contribution of culture to sustainable development and even to the objectives for 2030 (Greece, Lebanon, Spain, Costa Rica, Germany), while others, such as Cuba and Azerbaijan, see this crisis as an opportunity for the revival of artistic creation and a broad extension of artistic and cultural practices in society through digital dissemination and communication.

  1. An important mobilization for culture

Despite the inequalities between the various countries, support for the cultural sector is very significant. The measures most often used are the adjustment of contributions and dues, deferral of obligations (social security contributions, taxes), the granting of wage subsidies and loans, the conduct of surveys and impact analyses, the establishment of emergency funds and even food assistance.

Mali sees in the current crisis, despite its disastrous consequences, an opportunity to align the cultural policies of African countries with the objectives of the Charter for the Cultural Renaissance of Africa: “any African cultural policy must necessarily enable peoples to flourish in order to assume greater responsibility for their own development”. Other countries, such as Jamaica, are trying to encourage the transition of their informal economy to the formal economy, which would better protect artists and creators. Elsewhere, cultural sponsorship appears to be a realistic source of income for the cultural sector.

Among the many measures enumerated by Peru, some are targeted at indigenous peoples, particularly in the Amazon, to isolate them from the pandemic while giving them access to culture. The recommendations produced had been translated into 20 languages, a measure similar to that implemented in Mexico, where health manuals had been translated into 60 languages.

Large parts of the cultural sector, particularly heritage sites, festivals and museums, depend on tourism, which has a major impact on attendance and attendance. If the crisis is affecting the cultural sector even in countries where there are no reported cases, such as Lesotho or the Cook Islands, it is because tourism has been completely devastated by the pandemic. Indeed, several ministers placed more emphasis on this sector than on the cultural sector. Some countries want to focus on domestic tourism, but not everyone can do that. Others, such as Kazakhstan, where the national tourism agency organizes virtual tours of the country, are relying on digital technology to remain an attractive destination.

  1. Towards an explosion of platforms and online offerings?

It seems that in all regions of the world, dozens of platforms are being created with the support of governments and public institutions. Many measures have been put in place to provide virtual access to museums, libraries, heritage sites and galleries, while other platforms provide access to cultural expressions.

In Azerbaijan, for example, the measures adopted have made it possible to redirect 80% of cultural activities towards the Internet, including dissemination on social media. After the crisis, one of the challenges will be to ensure that culture is not confined to the virtual sphere. For the Minister of Bahrain, the opportunity must be seized to promote virtual reality, archaeological discoveries, access to intangible heritage and online music.

  1. The pandemic is likely to increase global inequalities

Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, stressed this at the very beginning of the meeting: inequalities, which are already significant, are likely to increase even further as a result of the pandemic.

The minister from Dominica said her country is barely recovering from the consequences of Hurricane Maria, which caused a 226% drop in GDP. Other countries, such as Mozambique, which was hit by two cyclones last year, or Lesotho, would like to develop an online content offer that respects copyright, but would need help from international partners.

The vital need to accelerate the digital transition highlights digital divides that will aggravate inequalities between countries, but also within territories. The Chilean minister pointed out that several communities in her country do not have access to the Internet and this is the case in many countries. Several other countries reported a lack of training and technical skills and the difficulties encountered by more vulnerable groups (migrants, indigenous people, women).

  1. A call for international cooperation

Many countries have called for substantial international support. The Sudanese minister explained that developing countries already allocate few resources to culture in normal times. Currently, the fight against the virus is taking up all the space. The Chadian minister referred to the “competition of emergencies” in his country which, like others in the Sahel, is caught up in the problems of terrorism.

There were fewer responses. Germany stands out for the development of partnerships in Africa and the Middle East for cultural projects and the development of digital platforms by the Goethe Institute. His Minister added that no country faced the challenges alone and that these approaches were a source of learning for them. For his part, the Minister of San Marino proposed that cooperation between states be made more concrete by encouraging the circulation of works of art.

  1. A call to make Web giants pay

In her introduction, Audrey Azoulay suggested integrating platforms that disseminate cultural expressions via the Internet into cultural policies and funding mechanisms. However, relatively few ministers referred to this type of measure.

The ministers of Canada and Quebec were the only ones to make this call so clearly. The Canadian minister wants to adopt measures to ensure that all players contribute to national cultural ecosystems. The Quebec minister wants multinational companies to contribute to the system, particularly by promoting the discoverability of content, and for creators to reap a better share of the benefits.

Ministers from Lebanon and Belgium stressed the importance of intellectual property rights and fair remuneration of artists on online platforms.

  1. What role for UNESCO?

The Algerian minister stressed that culture has become one of the rare areas of collaboration between States and that UNESCO’s role is to foster exchanges, set up international mutual assistance mechanisms and develop digital platforms to promote access to heritage and culture.

The Minister of the United Arab Emirates, for her part, proposed that UNESCO develop a model for the protection of intellectual property in the context of the digital transition.

Finally, others called on UNESCO to document the impacts of Covid-19 on culture.

What prospects for the diversity of cultural expressions?

Very important issues were raised during this long meeting and UNESCO’s efforts to support a global space for exchange and reflection are to be applauded.  The ResiliArt initiative is very relevant in this regard and the IFCCD is very pleased to collaborate with UNESCO in organizing a second debate on May 14.

This discussion highlights at least two urgent needs to support a revival of cultural activities that is sustainable, more equitable and ensures a diversity of expressions. First, that of rethinking cultural cooperation at a time when the health crisis is putting pressure on already scarce resources in this field and when restrictions on mobility could last for a long time. Secondly, that of guaranteeing the contribution of the giants of the Web to cultural ecosystems in order to generate new sources of income and enhance local cultural expressions.

Global trade facing neo-mercantilism: cultural issues

Since January 2020, the IFCCD has partnered with the Groupe de recherche sur l’intégration continentale, attached to the Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM) of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), to produce an international watch on culture and e-commerce.

The third edition focuses on the place of culture in the European Union’s new economic partnerships.

READ THE THIRD EDITION

Message from the IFCCD President

Dear IFCCD members and friends,

All over the world people’s daily lives have changed dramatically during the last weeks and days and so has the colorful landscape of the diversity of cultural expressions we have known until recently. In many countries not only freedom of movement is restricted, but all cultural venues are closed, film production is at a standstill, concerts and plays can only be enjoyed over the internet, if at all. And everywhere artists, creators and cultural workers were among the first to suffer from economical distress because we are no longer allowed to create and perform as we used to. This puts enormous pressure not only on professional organizations in the cultural field, but also on the zillions of cultural associations which in many countries are at the base of the cultural life of people.

Our duty as protectors and promoters of the diversity of cultural expressions will be to do everything possible and to lobby governments to make sure that our precious cultural diversity can be saved over to the post-crisis period. We all know how easy it is to close down an orchestra, a theatre or dance company, a film production company etc., but how much long and hard work it takes to (re-)build them. In some countries governments have announced enormous packages to save the economy, but not always do they include or find the right measures for the needs of the creative industries, and even less for the artists and performers – often self-employed. Here professional organizations can help, both directly and by lobbying for public and/or private help (funds).

The IFCCD secretariat remains functional, with both Nathalie Guay and Céline de Dianous working from home. This year’s major project was supposed to take the form of a serie of gatherings in Latin America. Obviously, we will need to rethink this and be creative about what we can do in the current context to develop our action and our network in this region.

I invite you to send us information on the situation in your respective countries and the support that your governments are giving, or not, to the cultural sector, actions that you or other civil society organizations have taken, proposals, etc. Our friends at the UCLG have put together a very interesting resource page. We are in communication with them and other international association to share on our current situation and eventually engage in common initiatives. We will keep you inform of any development in this regard.

In times with omnipresent border closures and immigration restrictions, we are called to solidarity not only with all artists in our own countries but also with those in the rest of the world, and we should do everything in our power to re-establish and improve the free movement of artists and cultural goods and services, as well as the free flow of expressions and ideas, when the actual crisis will be over. That is why emergency powers or surveillance technologies that are being implemented in many countries need to be monitored.

The virus will be beaten, but in order to remedy its broad implications, all of us will be needed. Essentially, the diversity of cultural expressions is within us, in our brains, guts and soul, and there we need to nurse and cultivate it, even if we can’t express it to the outside world for a while. That is why we have to take care to stay physically and psychologically healthy during potentially long weeks of lockdown.

Very best wishes to all of you, stay healthy!

Beat Santschi and Nathalie Guay

From WTO negotiations on e-commerce to African free trade area: A state of play

Since January 2020, the IFCCD has partnered with the Groupe de recherche sur l’intégration continentale, attached to the Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM) of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), to produce an international watch on culture and e-commerce.

The second edition of this watch deals with plurilateral negotiations on e-commerce and looks in particular at the African Continental Free Trade Area.

READ THE SECOND EDITION

The review of audiovisual policy in Europe : Betweeen cultural sovereignty and digital globalisation

Since January 2020, the IFCCD has partnered with the Groupe de recherche sur l’intégration continentale, attached to the Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM) of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), to produce an international watch on culture and e-commerce.

The first edition of this watch deals with the reform of the European Union’s audiovisual policy.

READ THE FIRST EDITION

IFCCD provides international watch on digital culture and trade

The protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions in trade agreements and international fora is one of the priorities of the IFCCD. The proliferation of trade agreements at the international level makes it difficult to monitor trends and variations across geographical areas. More and more agreements include chapters on electronic commerce and some countries such as the United States are pushing for the inclusion of clauses preventing discrimination in favour of domestic cultural content. To maintain its expertise on the subject, the IFCCD has decided to partner with researchers from the Groupe de recherche sur l’intégration continentale, part of the Centre d’études sur l’intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). A watch on trade agreements in all regions of the world has been set up, which will result in monthly publications available online and included in the IFCCD newsletter.

13th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention

The Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is meeting at UNESCO Headquarters from February 11 to 14, 2020.

During its thirteenth session, the Committee will determine its work plan for 2020-2021, including policy monitoring and capacity-building activities, as well as activities to implement the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). The Committee will approve the financing of new projects by the IFCD in the context of its 10th call for applications. It will also examine the conclusions of the 2nd edition of the Civil Society Forum and potential synergies with the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist.

Several important side events will take place during this session. Notably, Director-General Audrey Azoulay and film director Naomi Kawase will unveil on the 13th of February at 3pm the names of the ten young African women directors selected for the new UNESCO/Nara film residency programme. Moreover, two “Create | 2030 Talks” will be organized to highlight the links between the Committee’s work and the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These debates will focus on the impact of the digital environment on access to creative content and on the outcomes of the first projects funded by the International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

LIVE TRANSMISSION

INTERVENTION BY BEAT SANTSCHI

INTERVENTION BY NATHALIE GUAY

INTERVENTION BY LAURE GICQUEL

INTERVENTION BY MAHAMADOU ADAMOU

INTERVENTION BY MANE NETT

FINAL INTERVENTION BY LAURE GICQUEL

Facing the challenges of the future through innovation

The last panel of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (9 and 10 October 2019) focused on innovative civil society initiatives to meet the challenges of the future. It brought together Brenda Uphopho (Women in the Arts) and Violet Maila (Music in Africa).

  • Brenda Uphopho presented the Women in the Arts Festival, a group of the same name that she co-founded in 2015. The first edition of the festival took place from November 15 to 17, 2018.

Women in the arts (WIA) is a collective of women who work in the creative industries of fashion, theatre, literature, film, music, dance, and who share common ideas. The group met for the first time in March 2015 at the Lagos Theatre Festival in Nigeria, and the number of its members has grown to more than 250 women.

The WIA Festival presents women’s performances, conferences, networking activities aimed at increasing women’s participation and financial empowerment in the cultural sector. The WIA festival focuses on networking, artistic performance and discussions. It takes place in the context of the Lagos Fringe (next edition from 19 to 24 November 2019), which gives it a showcase. One of its main objectives is to change the perspectives for women.

Brenda Uphopho explained that government funding was very insufficient and that a lot of time had to be spent seeking private funds to carry out cultural projects. She deplored difficult economic conditions but also a major corruption problem in Nigeria. She explained that in the 1990s and 2000s, young people, especially women, had to learn on the job. There was no mentoring for young girls, no training. It is in this context that Nollywood has developed, a film industry that is now self-financing.

One of the objectives of the WIA collective is precisely to create a mentoring system to strengthen women’s capacities. The first edition of the festival provided an opportunity to organize advocacy activities against gender-based violence and the various forms of harassment to which women are subjected. Brenda Uphopho explained that the regulations on sexual harassment have been updated in Lagos but that there is still a lot of work to be done on this issue. The festival also focused on women’s participation in the electoral process, particularly in villages. Several sketches and performances were presented on the gender issue. These sketches will be translated in November 2019 and there will be a comic strip adaptation.  There is also a comic book project planned for November 2019.

Presentation by Mrs Uphopho

  • Violet Maila then spoke about Music in Africa, a web portal for information and exchange dedicated to the African music sector.

Music In Africa is a non-profit initiative that aims to support the African music sector by promoting knowledge exchange and creating opportunities and capacities for those who work in the sector. The Music In Africa portal is owned and managed by the Music In Africa Foundation, established in 2013 and headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thanks to its network of contributors, the platform offers a unique range of useful and quality content on the sector. Music in Africa allows artists, creators, music professionals, fans, etc. to

  1. Deepen your knowledge of the African music scene;
  2. Discover and listen to the music of the continent;
  3. Find actors of the music scene in Africa;
  4. Create a profile and promote your work;
  5. Exchange information about the African music scene with other users;
  6. Access self-help aids and tools;
  7. Contribute to a complete and reliable source of information.

Violet Maila also spoke about other projects carried out by the Music in Africa Foundation through partnerships: the EPK platform, for artists who wish to perform at the Sauti za Busara festival in Zanzibar, or the Music in Africa conference for collaborations, exchanges and showcases (ACCESS), which is held in a different African city each year and allows artists to show their work beyond their country.

Like other speakers, Violet Maila stressed the importance of data collection and sharing. She also stressed the need to create partnerships on the continent and to speak collectively. She finally explained that, even if the case of South Africa is unique in Africa, with a State that plays a real role as a cultural promoter, it is essential for African civil society to highlight the importance of its work and to mobilize to have policies adopted to support culture.

Presentation by Mrs Maila

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

The new realities of the globalized market for the dissemination of digital cultural content and the challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet

As part of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (October 9 and 10, 2019), Destiny Tchéhouali, Professor in the Department of Communications at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), presented at a conference the realities of the dissemination of digital cultural content and the challenges for cultural diversity on the Internet.

The exchange of cultural goods and services has increased with the advent of digital technologies. Their rapid development has significantly changed the way cultural goods and services are accessed and consumed around the world. Several studies have examined the subject over the past five years (2018 report on the state of the digital Francophonie, study “Towards a diversified network culture”, UNESCO report on digital technology, etc.) but too few of them focus on Africa. There are very few indicators and data on consumption and usage in ACP countries (Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Caribbean) for online cultural content. In its Study on the economic and artistic challenges and benefits of the online dissemination and distribution of ACP cultural content (European Commission, 2016-2017), Destiny Tchéhouali noted significant disparities between the countries of the North and the South in terms of the dissemination and distribution of digital cultural content. Platforms have made it possible to widen access to certain cultural content, they are increasingly positioning themselves in local markets, but they control, influence and guide our choices. There is a form of dictatorship of algorithms: “If it is free, you are the product”.

The digital divide between the world’s regions can lead to a cultural divide. Today, 4 billion people still live without the Internet, 60% of them in Africa. Destiny Tchéhouali mentioned several challenges for the diversity of online cultural expressions in the region:

  1. Policy and regulatory challenges. The cultural policies of the ACP countries are not adapted. Policies to support cultural industries focus on supply and not demand. These policies should take into account considerations on the distribution and distribution of digital content;
  2. Technological challenges. There is often a lack of infrastructure and a lack of an overall strategy to develop access to online content;
  3. The lack of professionalism in the cultural sector

Destiny Tchéhouali also mentioned the challenges of accessibility and discoverability of local and national content, which concern all regions of the world. Digital innovation actors are trying to impose their leadership on traditional cultural actors. There is a gap between the logic of recommending cultural content and the effective presence, accessibility and discoverability of our content on the Web. Instead of promoting the diversity of online cultural expressions, algorithms tend to impose their dictatorship and lock us into tastes. Consideration must be given to a way to regulate GAFAs, as is being done by the European Union, which has adopted directives to this effect. The challenge is also to innovate at the local level. Several platforms have already emerged in Africa: Afrostream, for example, which has been very successful for three years, or Musik Bi, an innovative platform in Senegal. In the future, efforts could focus on the development of shared alternative platforms.

Presentation by Mr Tchéhouali (in French)

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.

 

 

Civil society challenges elsewhere in the world: discussion with representatives of coalitions for cultural diversity

The second day of the Regional Conference “Pan-African Perspectives for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” (9 and 10 October 2019) began with a round table discussion on the challenges faced by civil society outside Africa. It brought together several representatives of coalitions for cultural diversity: Guillaume Prieur (French Coalition), Jérôme Payette (Canadian Coalition), Alejandra Diaz (Paraguayan Coalition), Ray Argall (Australian Coalition).

At the European level, coalitions have been mobilized by the issue of the diversity of cultural expressions in the digital environment with several European directives:

  1. The Copyright Directive, including a section on value transfer and a second section on the transparency triangle;
  2. The Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD).

The objective of these directives is to regulate digital platforms in favour of creation, to integrate them into the creative economy. The next step, which will be crucial, is the transposition of directives in the Member States. In the future, beyond the regulations obtained, it is also necessary to move towards a regulation of algorithms and artificial intelligence, the objective being to prevent a standardization of cultural creation.

In Canada, the CDCE focuses on two main issues: maintaining the cultural exemption in free trade agreements (obtained during the renegotiation of NAFTA, renamed ACEUM) and the application of Canadian cultural policies in the digital environment. The CDCE produced a brief in January 2019 as part of the review of Canada’s Broadcasting and Telecommunications Acts. There was also significant involvement of CDCE members in the campaign for the October 21, 2019 federal election. The CDCE has also closely followed what has happened in Europe regarding copyright and the AVMS Directive. The CDCE regularly works with researchers, academics, the UNESCO Chair, UQAM. There is a willingness to develop work with the research community on the impacts of artificial intelligence on culture.

At the Paraguayan level, the priority is to reorganize and strengthen the space of confluence between the different artistic sectors. With the new National Secretariat for Culture, there have been changes. In particular, a round table for the performing arts was organised for the first time. Others followed for music, theatre, books, and there is a national cultural plan that is beginning to be discussed. From a broader perspective, South America is facing the wave of the orange economy. Neoliberalism dominates and the economic policies of the countries are similar, with significant budget cuts for culture. The former coalitions of Argentina and Brazil have been weakened by the general dismantling of cultural resources and plans. In Chile, the Chilean coalition succeeded in getting a law passed that ratifies the celebration of the Day of Cultural Diversity on October 20. The Chilean coalition is also working on the preparation of a workshop for officials from the various ministries of the Chilean government to raise awareness of aspects of the 2005 Convention.

There are many organisations very active in the region but it faces significant political challenges and the issue of human rights is a major problem in some countries. China has become a global giant, like the United States, and it is a threat to the diversity of cultural expressions, especially for the smallest territories in the region. The Australian coalition has exchanges with New Zealand and South Korea, including copyright and royalty collection. The defence of copyright is a priority issue for the Australian coalition, which is also interested in the presence and enhancement of local content online, but also in the contribution of platforms and the telecommunications sector to the financing of artistic creation. Among the actions that mobilized civil society, Ray Argall mentioned the “Why make it Australian” campaign to defend the Australian audiovisual industry.

 

With the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, the Union Économique et Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UEMOA), the Togolese Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the French Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (Canada), the Austrian Coalition for Cultural Diversity, the Government of Togo, the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec, the National Commission of the Francophonie in Togo.