Of Coffee and the 2018 UNESCO Global Report

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell I attended the launch of 2018 Global Report of the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression

2018 Global report

Re| Shaping Cultural Policies

cultural diversity

The Global report gives feedback on the impact of policies on the cultural sector pointing out strategies that would best work given the strengths and challenges faced in the creation, production and dissemination of cultural products.

Global report hand over

UNESCO Regional Cultural Advisor, Damir Dijakovic hands over the first copy of the #2018GlobalReport to Dr. Samwanda Director in the Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and Recreation

If you were having coffee with me, I would attempt to give you a lightning quick review on the 2018 Global Report and share a few observations from the Harare launch.

The 4 goals of the convention on cultural diversity:

Goals of Cultural Diversity

Goal 1 Support sustainable systems of governance for culture

Goal 2  achieve balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals

Goal 3 Integrate culture in sustainable development frameworks

Goal 4 promote human rights and fundamental freedoms

** implementing the 2005 convention has a direct impact on the attainment of the Sustainable Goals

SDG

The 2018 Global Report gives a Report Card summary of each of the four goals stating successes challenges and recommendations…..

The report shows how a collaborative system is needed between various multi-stakeholders from Government, Public Sector; private sector to Civil Societies to best empower communities especially in the new age of diverse digital multimedia content.

Some of the challenges noted in the report are on how most development plans do not have plans containing creativity specific outcomes, and the inequalities in distribution and access to resources and the neglect of environmental impact by cultural product creations.

Also of note is how its low key unacknowledged that women are highly marginalised having a low number in key creative roles or decision making positions or have less access to funding and generally earn less than male counterparts in the cultural field.

“Culture is key to building a new country. A community that reads, knows its origins, has cultural spaces to enjoy and supports artists, is a society that is proud of its cultural diversity and is equipped with more tools to build peace”

-Marianna Garces Cordoba

The Report is available online; 2018 Global Report: ReShaping Cultural Policies

If you were having coffee with me I would tell that how much as frameworks like this assist and support; often times the information hardly ever trickles its way to the person who needs it the most; you will be told how there is open access to the information but never quite where you actually get, like its information for some secret society only those in the know who pick and choose what to share with the rest of the world….

Case in point are you only reading about this 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity now? Is it a surprise only 4 Zimabwean submissions have been beneficiaries of  fund grant.

A panel of experts discussed the future of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) in Africa and I loved how Mr Charles Vallebrand a consultant on cultural policies before he begun his presentation asked for someone to sing him a song, “If you sing I will dance” and he danced to mbira music played by Chris Timbe.
Mbira player
He remarked how gatherings such as this must not forget why or for whom they do conventions such as these…….

Mr Albert Chimedza founding chair of Zimbabwe Chamber of Creative Industries made an observation of how the artists who have made it; are self-made artists who relied on their own talents for their success citing Thomas Mapfumo, Oliver Mtukudzi, Dominic Benhura……

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that what resonated with me the most was a question from the floor on how writers are the forgotten artist, maybe writing is a forgotten art because when people talk art; they usually never mention writers, they will speak of musicians, poets, sculptors, painters. And writers, well those seem to be considered more of a hobby than anything serious, not until a published book that goes no less than bestseller, then suddenly people crawl out of the woodwork to heap accolades.

Yet writers are the new custodians of culture, in the past our history was preserved by word of mouth, passed down in folktales; now it might be written down in the pages of a book or digitalized on a website on the internet………………………

~B

 

PhotoCredits: Unesco Southern Africa

: Heather Madombwe for Chris Timbe pic

 

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5 thoughts on “Of Coffee and the 2018 UNESCO Global Report

  1. Writers do seem to get the short end of the stick most of the time. I distinctly remember being told by English teachers in school that writing is a fool’s job, and that there’s no way to be successful as a writer. In hindsight, I think they were projecting their own frustrations at not being able to make it as full-time writers.

    Liked by 1 person

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