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GLOBALISATION AND ITS IMPACT (article first published : 2002-09-25)

Artists, activists and cultural organizations from around the world will meet at the Centre for the Book in Cape Town from October 11 to 13 to continue to build the international network concerned with globalisation and its impact on arts and culture.

Just weeks after the World Summit for Sustainable Development addressed globalisation and the effects on the environment, the third annual conference of the International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) will move towards the creation of a new International Convention on Cultural Diversity.

With the increasing dominance of cultural products from wealthier countries, the conference will deal with strategies to foster cultural diversity within and among nations, and analyse the effects of programmes linking culture and development.

The INCD’s draft Convention on Cultural Diversity, released earlier this year, will be debated, amended and adopted at the Cape Town meeting. It will then be presented as the INCD’s contribution to the global dialogue among culture ministers, UNESCO and other relevant agencies.

This Convention will spearhead the international movement to provide a legal foundation for measures that promote and protect cultural diversity, including measures that address the commercial exchange of cultural goods.

Other questions to be examined at the conference include how to ensure that cultural diversity is not negatively impacted by development projects and how to ensure that development projects fully respect and collaborate with local cultures? Other questions deal with what can be done to enhance the capacities of the cultural industries in the developing world and how can diversity of artistic expression within nations be supported?

Speakers at the conference include Katerina Stenou, Director of Cultural Policy at UNESCO, Bibi Andersson, actor and cultural activist from Sweden, Dr Vandana Shiva of the India Research Foundation, and Buruma Sagnia, Coordinator of Senegal’s College for Culture and Development. There will be a range of other speakers and participants from countries including Korea, Australia, Mexico, Bangladesh, Canada, Zimbabwe, the West Indies, Pakistan and Brazil. A “working group” approach for the gathering will allow for a diversity of voices from the podium and the floor.

The conference will precede a meeting of culture ministers from around the world, organized in the International Network on Cultural Policy. Delegates from both networks will take part in a working session to discuss the convention and other matters of common concern. This continuing dialogue is a rare and valuable opportunity for collaboration between government and civil society.

For application forms to attend the conference or for more information, contact the local INCD office at 021-422 2495 or fax 021-422 2496 or e-mail:incd@nisa.ac.za Applications and the registration fee of R150 must be received by September 30, 2002.




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