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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Of Breaking Free; A Writer’s Block

 

Writer’s block is the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing.

When I try to picture it in my head, I visualise a large immovable block that your writing hand is shackled to, which is why you cannot write…..

writerBLOCK.jpg

Or maybe it is large chopping block where you lay your head as you wait for the axe of creative constipation to chop your silly head off…….

BlockAde.jpg

Off with your head….. if you can visualize your writer’s block in your head then you are kidding yourself you do not really have writer’s block, your creative mechanism still work; you need to collect and focus your creative energy.

To understand writer’s block you first have to understand the psychology of a creative individual. Imagine a writer as a therapist; unconsciously self-psychoanalyzing to resolve inner turmoil via the sublime medium of writing….

In other words writers are batty, how can they not be?

Writer’s block has probably existed since the first writer picked up a stick and scratched something on a cave wall or perhaps even before that when he traced doodles into the dirt with his fingers and when the rain washed it away he tried to do it again, and could not, quite get it right……

But the term writer’s block was first coined in 1947 by a psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler who described it as a “Neurotic inhibition of productivity

What causes Writer’s Block?

Self Doubt or Self Criticism; (afraid of how you will be judged or  if you wrote something before and it was praised and now the pressure as you are not sure you can ever equal the same level of excellence or being compared to other greats)

Timing; (when you just cant find the time and space and distractions.)

Procrastination; (waiting for inspiration)

Perfectionism; (waiting for everything to fall into place, which it never does)

Disillusionment; (you write and no one notices, no recognition)

unhappiness; (It should come as no surprise that an unhappy writer is likely to be creatively blocked and that a blocked writer is probably unhappy. Unhappy people daydream less period.)

There are many other causes for it but these are the most common.

Writer’s block is a psychological condition and as with all psychological manifestations its treatment should be some feel good therapeutic exercise….

How To Break Free The Writer’s Block

Writing is an intimate conversation with your innermost thoughts; so to deal with your writer’s block; relax and get alone time, you need to find some joy in your writing; if you feel good, you write good……

If I had a holy grail solution to dealing with writer’s block; I would probably be selling it in a set of 25 motivational DVDs at $1.99 a DVD and after you had bought the entire set you would find that you were no closer to getting past your writer’s block than when you started; that’s because writing is not an exact science, it is an art; and art has no rules; it has No Chill.

However I’ll share a few quirky remedies outrageous enough to just pop the bubble of that uncreative funk

*Firstly WRITE, write anything; keep writing until you write better

Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all

~Charles Bukowski

*Pretend you are writing a rough draft and not a masterpiece

*Talk to your characters, have coffee with them, interview them

*Write like you talk

No one ever gets talker’s block

~Seth Godin

~B

PS I never suffer from writer’s block; I immensely enjoy it and use it as an excuse to exercise all my quirky traits and blame my unruly muse ♥♥♥♥