Selected innovative examples
The examples below were presented in Parties’ quadrennial periodic reports submitted in 2012. They represent a first selection of innovative examples of the implementation of the Convention at country and regional level, as identified by international experts.
1. Cultural policies and measures
The Argentine Cultural Industries Market (MICA)
Austrian creative sector support initiatives
The Argentine Cultural Industries Market (MICA) was held in 2011 to promote the country’s design, music, performing arts, audiovisual art, publishing and video games producers in domestic and international markets. Organized in a single space, it was a focused point of articulation between producers and the state agencies engaged in promoting the cultural industries (which in Argentina account for more than 300,000 jobs and 3.5% of GDP). The market was elaborated by different public agencies working closely with the relevant private sector counterparts, viz. the Argentine Book Chamber, the Argentine Publications Chamber, the Association of Argentine Videogame Developers, the National Theatre Institute and others. It involved all the different ministries concerned as well as specialized agencies. The event was also supported by foreign Embassies and international organizations (SEGIB, etc.). It had exhibition stands for each sector as well as for all national public agencies and each province of Argentina. Lectures by industry experts on key challenges facing the sector, workshops and debates, theatrical and musical presentations and the like were also offered. Presentations were organized at related international events such as the Guadalajara Book Fair, Womex, Medellin Music Market, the Frankfurt Book fair and Uniconvention. More than 34,000 people visited or took part in the event as a whole.
This initiative represents a successful cross-cutting project that innovatively promotes the cultural industries sector in all stages of the value chain, creates public awareness about it and provides professionals with learning opportunities regarding the challenges it faces.
Brazil’s national cinema policy
Two Austrian support initiatives to cultural industries can be highlighted as particularly relevant. From 2008 to 2013 roughly USD 33 million will have been invested in the evolve programme of Austria’s Ministry for Economy, Family and Youth, implemented in cooperation with the Austria economic service and arge creativ wirtschaft Austria that represents the creative industry sector within the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The initiative aims to strengthen the competitive and innovative capacity of the Austrian creative industries, through training, education and advisory services, networking as well as financial support to cultural enterprises, while a sub-fund entitled impulse finances the experimental development, first market application and distribution of creative products, pilot projects and best practice initiatives. Besides direct promotion, evolve also aims to strengthen the public awareness and visibility of creative goods and services.
In 2005 the Federal Ministry for Economy, Family and Youth introduced go international, a programme targeting international marketing that offers advisory services, events and support including workshops on export marketing, trade and fact-finding missions, support for presentations at trade fairs, publication of special directories and catalogues and bringing together Austrian entrepreneurs with potential foreign customers. In 2009-2010 USD 2.6 million were invested in the creative industries strand and as of March 2011 more than 400 Austrian entrepreneurs had increased their non-domestic turnover, while in 2009 the creative industries achieved an export share of 26 per cent (as compared to 12 per cent for other commercial service sectors).
These initiatives, which form part of a whole panoply of measures implemented in Austria, are excellent examples of a systematic public support for entrepreneurs and exports in the cultural industries sector.
The French book policy
Brazil’s cinema policy, implemented jointly by the National Film Agency (ANCINE) and the Ministry of Culture, aims to increase the presence of Brazilian films on both national and international markets. It encourages innovation, staff training, preservation and dissemination of audio-visual heritage, financial support, technical support, script-writing and coordination with the non-theatrical projection circuit. In 2011, the legal structure was updated to extend to pay television, and a new law establishes a new regulatory regime extending to actions promoting diversity in the conditional access audio-visual broadcasting. The new legislation makes explicit reference to the principles of the 2005 Convention. An Audio-visual Sectoral Fund finances a wide range of projects. From 2007 to 2011, 26 tenders have been launched and 250 projects selected. In addition, ANCINE ensures that film quotas are respected, with cinemas having to meet a minimum quota of 3 to 14 different Brazilian films, per cinema, for 28 to 63 days, depending on the size of the cinema. In 2011, the National Congress expanded the scope of the quotas to apply to pay television, also establishing quotas and group programming channels for all companies.
This policy, accompanied by the necessary legislative measures, illustrates the potential for a film promotion effort conducted in a consistent and proactive way by public authorities in a developing country.
Germany’s Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative
This policy aims to encourage the promotion and maintenance of cultural diversity in the book sector in France. It is based on the action of the National Book Centre (CNL) as well as numerous partners. The law on fixed book price adopted in 1981 has a threefold objective: (i) the equality of citizens before the book, which shall be sold at the same price throughout the country, (ii) maintaining a dense decentralized network of bookstores, especially in disadvantaged areas, iii) supporting pluralism in the creation and publishing of books, especially for difficult works. In 2011 a new law established a single price for the digital book and a support network of libraries and media centers involving all institutional actors. The CNL and its partners are also committed to promoting foreign literature in France, through a program of support for the translation of foreign-language works into French and organization of promotional campaigns for these works in France. Regarding the promotion of French books abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the CNL and its partners annually spend more than ten million euros for this purpose through modalities such as translation aids, transport aid, support for authors’ creative work, participation in major international fairs, the professionalization of French bookstores, creation and production of quality French publishing, promoting and supporting ideas, knowledge and scientific culture expressed in the French language, with the help of a network of 300 media centers and direct aid to the various actors of the French abroad.
This policy aims to protect creators and consumers. It is an effective response to the economic and technological permutations in the cultural sector. It is a widely followed model, especially in Europe and Latin America.
Mexico’s National Programme for Culture, 2007-2012
Germany’s Federal Government has launched several initiatives to promote and to stimulate innovation in advertising, the art market, broadcasting, the software and games, design, the architecture, book and performing arts markets, the film industry, the music industry and the press market. These include the Cultural and Creative Industries Initiative (CCII), the German Federal Film Fund, the Initiative Music and the German Computer Game Prize. The CCII seeks to improve company competitiveness and to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of independent professionals and freelancers. A Centre of Excellence for the Cultural and Creative Industries was established in 2009 as a platform for information, advice and networking with a view to strengthening the sector and acting as an intermediary between the ‘creative classes’ and economic policy-makers. The Centre of Excellence’s remit includes establishing the cultural and creative industries as a publicly-recognised independent economic sector, improving access to existing support measures, further developing the range of professional training and continuing education on offer, optimising market opportunities for cultural professionals and creative people, and opening access to international markets. Eight regional offices also provide similar services in close cooperation with the Länder.
These measures represent a good example of the importance of providing comprehensive information and capacity-building infrastructure at the national (Federal) level to help individuals and companies operating in the cultural and creative industries.
Public information and education in Mongolia
This programme, put in place and led by the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA), in cooperation with other relevant bodies in the cultural field, seeks to address the country’s needs in a wide range of cultural domains ranging from heritage, both material and immaterial to all forms of cultural expression, arts education and participation. It contains a special focus on promoting understanding of the development potential for municipalities, states and regions of the arts and culture in general and the cultural industries in particular. Encouraging diverse cultural expressions as a basis for union and social cohesion is a key objective, together with others such as the promotion of access to, enjoyment of and participation as regards cultural goods and services, the provision of spaces for cultural production of quality and increasing the contribution of culture to social welfare. The programme’s main axes are heritage and cultural diversity, cultural infrastructure, national and international cultural promotion, public incentives for creation and sponsorship, training and research in various cultural fields, the promotion of reading, culture and tourism and, last but not least, the cultural industries. The programme is stated to be the product of a broad process of consultation with the country’s artistic communities, intellectuals, academics, civil society entities and cultural operators.
This programme embodies an overarching policy vision that fully integrates the awareness and promotion of diversity that also includes cultural goods and services.
Montenegro’s multi-purpose cultural centre
The Arts Council of Mongolia has carried out since 2010 a broad range of advocacy activities via a TV Programme called ‘Arts Network’ implemented in cooperation with the national broadcasting organization MNPRTV. . The aim of these activities is to promote the diversity of cultural expressions with a view to making arts and culture institutions more visible to the general public, to helping the latter understand the significance of the arts and culture and their potential for the development of individuals and society, as well as providing it with information on the diversity of cultural expressions internationally. Three goals are pursued through the telecasting of the following three programmes: ‘Urlan’, which introduces both Mongolian and foreign artists to the public highlighting the different styles of artistic performance; ‘Knowledge’, which covers ancient and modern history as well as the history of world art and religions; and ‘Calendar, a programme that provides updates to viewers on cultural and art activities currently taking place in major cities around the world, as well as on possibilities of participation for Mongolian artists. The information helps to build understanding and favourable public opinion on these matters. The Embassy of Norway supported this initiative in 2010, allowing the Arts Council of Mongolia to present the cultural expressions of both Norway and Sweden to Mongolian viewers, while also presenting the diversity of Mongolian arts and culture itself.
This initiative shows how public service broadcasting can be used imaginatively in a developing country as an instrument of public information and awareness building with respect to cultural diversity.
Inclusive Creative Industries’ Joint Program in Peru
Montenegro is planning to create an ambitious new multimedia centre in an abandoned refrigerator factory covering a surface area of 140,000 square metres and located in the former royal capital, Cetinje that is to be called the Marina Abramović Community Center Obod Cetinje. It will be a center of production, presentation, distribution and development of various artistic forms, including performing arts, of which Marina Abramović is a leading figure, but also visual arts, film and video, educational and environmental programmes, architecture, science and new technologies. The future centre is being conceptualized and designed as an incubator for change, as well as a driver for cultural development, both locally and throughout the country. Thus the Center will also be engaged in social and educational programs, cooperation and networking, ecology, and local community building. It will also have its own dedicated collection, a multimedia library and archive, and will rent out its spaces. In addition to its cultural activities, this multi-functional center will also develop a whole series of economic and service ventures which should provide a significant contribution to both the reanimation of the Obod factory compound itself and to the revitalisation of the entire town of Cetinje. The first phase of the project is envisaged to be completed in 2013.
This cultural centre is designed as an incubator for change, as well as a driver for cultural development and stimulator of artistic innovation, both locally and throughout the country.
Critical Neighbourhoods' Initiative in Portugal
This multi-pronged ‘Joint Program’ (JP) aims to promote culture as a driver of economic development for vulnerable groups in four regions of Peru: Ayacucho, Cusco, Puno and Lambayeque (2010 – 2012, co-funded by ILO, WTO, UNIDO, UNDP, UNESCO and FAO). These regions have been selected both because they are poverty-stricken and because of their potential for inclusive development, once an enabling environment has been created. The JP also targets market access and the sharing of successful business models in ‘inclusive cultural industries’. It seeks to strengthen public-private structures in each region, with entrepreneurs as active partners in building marketing and general business-relevant capacities among the most vulnerable groups that also involves building the capacities of local and regional governments. It also proposes a regulatory and public policy framework. Care is being taken to consolidate lessons learned, so that JP outputs and outcomes are disseminated to all its stakeholders, partners, networks, etc., with a view to its replication. JP is led and coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism and partners include the Ministry of Culture and its regional directorates, producers associations and NGOs. Finally, it has set quantified targets such as the following: employment provided for 200 inclusive cultural industry entrepreneurs; 4,800 government officials, private sector leaders and community leaders (of which at least 30% women) made aware of inclusive cultural industry opportunities; 100 students trained and 100 trainers trained (of which at least 30% women and 50% from the poorest segment of the population); 1,300 representatives of public sector, private sector and civil society informed about the issue and its opportunities; 120 members of parliament made aware of and favourable to the proposed regulatory framework.
This Joint Programme links cultural industry development and poverty reduction strategies, maximizing the potential of the ‘One UN’ framework, which has set quantified output and outcome targets as benchmarks.
The Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) Centres in Uruguay
Launched in 2005, in the framework of a national urban management policy, this inter-ministerial initiative promotes cultural expression in four different urban areas: Vale da Amoreira (Moita), as a ‘decentralised art: artistic experimentation space’; Cova da Moura (Amadora), as a ‘a creative space’ and Lagarteiro (Porto), as an arts education network at the primary and pre-primary school levels. The initiative aims to foster cultural exchange and ‘fusion’ between and among the different communities resident in these neighbourhoods. In Vale da Amoreira, the artistic component is considered to be a structuring dimension of the entire intervention and the creation of a community studio has enabled production (and built production capacities) of and for different artistic products from the various established artists’ collectives, together with an exchange of services between different types of artistic skill. Approximately 1200 young people are involved in the project, spanning a range of activities linked to artistic expression. The public image of the zone has been transformed: it is no longer associated principally with marginality but rather with the various cultural and artistic initiatives. Another key aspect is the construction of important cultural infrastructure within the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region. This is the Artistic Experimentation Centre (financed by the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and the Institute of Housing and Urban Renewal) that will be managed by Moita Municipal Council, not as a traditional cultural infrastructure but rather as a facility that will foster artistic engagement by the entire community.
This is a good example of an art-centered urban management and development intervention whose core rationale is the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions of the local inhabitants.
The Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) Centres have been built up since 2007 to facilitate citizens’ access to educational and cultural goods and services together with scientific and technological innovation, as well as favour social integration and citizen participation. They operate particularly for the benefit of population groups that have been the most disadvantaged due to economic, educational and territorial reasons or as a result of some kind of disability. They have made it possible to bring cultural and educational goods and services to rural areas. The Centres seek also to promote awareness of rights: human, social, political, environmental, gender and cultural. Their outreach, dissemination and development-related activities include visits by artists, scientists and technical experts, exhibitions, debates and other activities, as well as non-formal education projects; promotion of digital literacy is a particular focus. The Ministry works with provincial authorities as strategic partners, while the National Telecommunications Authority serves as a technological ally. A noteworthy aspect of this scheme has been the systematic gathering of impact indicators for the period 2007-2011: ‘5676 activities, in which cultural and educational goods circulated between 114 towns and villages of up to 5000 inhabitants, for which 3787 artists, workshop organizers and performances were contracted at an average cost of $4,300.00 per activity, which means on average 4 activities per month. About 75% of the population (3 out of 4 inhabitants) took part at least in one activity’.
This effort to bring cultural and educational goods and services to rural areas and disadvantaged groups is a good example of how in a developing country relatively simple means can be employed to promote cultural awareness and participation within a broad human development framework and how an impact monitoring component can be integrated into the project.
2. International cooperation
Brazil’s international audio-visual cooperation policy
Denmark’s international cooperation policy
Brazil’s policy has three goals: a) encourage international co-productions, b) support the participation of Brazilian films in international festivals and c) promote Brazil in the international audiovisual sector. The policy is designed to facilitate national producers internationally to encourage partnerships and access to financing. Brazil has a number of international co-production treaties with various countries which helps this process.
A major challenge has been to encourage Brazilian producers to become accustomed and qualified to work with international industry standards (given the size of Brazil’s internal market and language barriers, producers usually work locally). US$ 35,7 million has been allocated to implement this policy.
This policy has resulted in greater visibility and international presence of Brazilians in the film industry circuits.
Culture in France’s overseas development assistance
In 2009 a comprehensive strategy was formulated in Denmark in order to strengthen the internationalization of Danish cultural life and promote international cultural exchange. The new strategy is focused on five strategic priorities, such as “the artist in a globalized world” “professionalization and networking in a global market” and “foreign culture in Denmark.”
An International Cultural Panel (ICP) was established in 2010 bringing together representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Business and Growth as well as the Danish Arts Council and the Danish Arts Agency Heritage Agency of Denmark, the Danish Film Institute, the Danish Centre for Culture and Development (DCCD), the Danish Cultural Institute and the centres for Crafts, Architecture Centre and Design.
The ICP adheres to nine principles of international cultural work summarized in the Danish report. The main challenges are: to stay focused on building sustainable, professional working networks with foreign actors and the art and culture scenes of other countries and the necessity to cooperate across Ministries and key players working with cultural exchange.
The Danish approach reflects an idea of international cultural policy which not only aims to support one’s own culture but also emphasises the necessity, utility and possibilities of culture for development and innovation through international cooperation. It also demonstrates a strong inter-ministerial and transversal component.
Ibero-American regional cultural cooperation programmes (Ibermedia, Ibermusicas, Ibersecena, etc.)
The overall objectives of the French international cooperation policy in the domain of culture are: to accompany artists, authors and cultural operators from countries in the South; support the exhibition of their work and contribute to their recognition in international markets; support independent cultural industries in the perspective of sustainable development; contribute to the development of institutional capacity building and management skills in the cultural sectors of countries of the South. French policy to support culture in countries of the South has long recognized the crucial importance of culture in its international political, economic, development and social policies. In a multitude of ways it has integrated culture through legal, institutional and financial measures and through many frameworks, policy and programmes.
France recognizes the importance of culture as a factor in sustainable development in its ODA programmes, especially in Francophone Africa. Avenues for the allocation of ODA resources include the development of sustainable tourism at heritage sites, assistance for publishing, a range of measures in the audio-visual industries, and the encouragement of the innovative use of new information and communication technologies.
One concrete example of this policy is the World Cinema Support Fund (Aide aux cinémas du monde) dedicated to international co-productions. This new fund was jointly created by the Ministry for Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and is managed by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image Animée (CNC) and the Institut français. The Fund has replaced a funding programme that was specifically reserved for countries on France’s development priority list. It is now open to all countries and grants support as a subsidy either before or after completion of a project. Subsidies are granted to foreign feature-length film projects that are seeking support from French co-producers. In 2012, it has a total budget of 6 million euros.
France’s approach recognizes the importance of integrating culture in the international political, economic, development and social policies through diverse measures and programmes. The French experience gained from the inclusion of culture in its ODA programmes aimed at facilitating sustainable development in developing countries illustrates how a complete package can be made up of a range of measures directed at different needs in different countries, tailored to suit their particular circumstances.
Integrating Mongolia’s Foreign Policy and Cultural Policy
The Ibero-American Summits have adopted a number of cultural cooperation programmes such as Ibermedia in the cinematographic and audiovisual sector; Iberescena for the performing arts; Ibermuseos, in the field of museums and museum studies; Ibermusicas strengthening the Ibero-American musical space for the protection of musical heritage and for the promotion of new creations; Iberoquestas, to give support to youth orchestras and spread musical diversity; Iberrutas, for the protection of migrant rights from an intercultural perspective; and Iberarchivos, to promote archive development in Ibero-America. Each member country makes a financial contribution to the programmes.
The 18 participating countries of the Ibero-American Support Fund Ibermedia finance its work through annual contributions. Its objectives include the encouragement of coproduction, distribution and screening of Ibero-American films and the promotion of training for professionals of this sector. An evaluation of the Ibermedia conducted in 2008 established that it had contributed in a significant way to the modernization and development of the film industry in the region. The Ibermedia financing for co-productions may be the only resource available for the growth of national cinema. The evaluation indicated that US$ 110,000 from financial aid has had a multiplier effect of almost 1000%.
Even small contributions made by countries participating in multilateral networks have significant benefits in return. They serve not only to finance projects but they also become a concrete area of exchange of practices, of information and contribute to can greater cooperative policy progress.
Nigerian Cultural Centers
Working to refine its institutional framework with respect to international relations and cooperation, Mongolia set out in 2011 new Foreign Policy Guidelines and a new Directive on the Advocacy of Mongolian Culture and Arts Abroad that take into account the State Policy on Culture. These documents reflect the view that in order to help intensify Mongolia’s development in culture and arts, it is crucial to promote access to international markets for Mongolian cultural goods and services and increase the capability of the cultural and arts institutions of Mongolia.
To this end, Mongolia has signed agreements and protocols in the field of culture with over twenty countries in Asia and other regions of the world. Cooperation plans have been established between Mongolian and foreign artists, cultural entrepreneurs and professional art associations to conduct exchanges of art performances and exhibitions, train specialists, improve facilities, conduct joint studies in culture and history, publish books, organize cultural days and participate in international art and culture competitions, festivals, meetings and symposia.
These policies aim to promote the culture and arts sectors within the country with a view to integrating them more into Mongolia’s international cooperation policy. They indicate that access to foreign markets is considered an important opportunity for the country’s development.
Spain’s culture and development strategy and framework based on the Convention
Nigeria has taken measures to foster international cooperation both within and outside its borders. Thus, the African Art Expo held in Nigeria has created an avenue for the promotion of various cultural expressions from African countries. Nigerian Cultural centres have been established in China and Brazil and are being planned in six additional countries.
While Nigeria notes that these centers have helped promote Nigerian cultural expressions, a cultural centre can serve as a veritable locus of exchange, reaching out not only to civil society but to more official levels.
The principles and objectives of Spain’s policy on international cooperation in development in the field of culture are set out the Culture and Development Strategy of Spanish Cooperation, which was approved in 2007. This document draws largely on the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The strategic approaches put forward for the sector are:
(i) professional training, with emphasis on culture and development projects
(ii) political dimension of culture and its contribution to development
(ii) economic dimension of culture in its contribution to development
(iv) relation and complementary link between education and culture
(v) sustainable management of cultural heritage for development
(vi) relations between communication and culture with impact on development
(vii) driving processes that recognise cultural rights
The National Plan for External Cultural Action was approved in 2010 to promote cultural cooperation as a factor and key element in development cooperation, considering culture as a resource in its own right, whose access, diversity, heritage conservation, training, commercial handling and industrial promotion should be given priority in development policies.
Spain thus provides an example of an international development strategy that integrates culture and the principles of the Convention in a very organic and comprehensive manner.
3. Preferential treatment for developing countries
Austria: Artists’ exchanges and residencies
Fostering an enabling environment in Bolivia
The Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture offers accommodation and the use of a community studio, a contribution to the costs of living as well as material costs, assistance and support, visits to museums and galleries and contact to foreign artists. At the end of the stay the artists are offered the possibility for a small exhibition of their works to the public. Recently, the Federal Ministry hosted artists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Cuba, Georgia, Montenegro, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and United Arab Emirates.
This case is a good example of an artist exchange and residency programme that allows for international market exposure at the end of the residency for artists from developing and emerging countries.
Canada: support to mobility of artists from developing countries
Since 2009, Bolivia has implemented diverse activities that together help create an enabling environment for the development of the cultural sector. Among those of relevance to the implementation of the Convention are: Reading Foment Program that created book fairs all around the country, artistic vocational training workshops (since 2009), cultural and artistic promotion through the realization of many audiovisual productions and agreements with public media organizations, among other activities supported by the Ministry of Cultures.
The various initiatives illustrate how the country is fostering an enabling environment for the emergence and development of the cultural industries at the national level.
European Union: Fostering knowledge and expertise creation in ACP (Asia, Caribbean and Pacific) countries
The Federal Government of Canada introduced various measures supporting Canadian artists going abroad as well as foreign artists coming to Canada. In addition to financial support for mobility the Canada Council for the Arts maintains a database with key information on cultural professionals to facilitate connections affiliated with mobility. The Council also provides funding for organizations to invite foreign artists and to financially assist them to access new markets. In addition to such general measures the federal government has also implemented specific exemptions for various categories of culture professionals travelling to Canada: exemptions on work visas for artists and their team who come to prepare performances as well as culture professionals in various functions such as judges or jury members.
The Canadian approach combines financial assistance with visa facilitation, such work visa exemptions, thus addressing the two main obstacles to the mobility of artists from developing countries.
France: support to mobility and market access for artists from developing countries
ACP Cultures+ is EU’s support programme to cultural sectors in Asia, Caribbean and Pacific countries (EUR 30 million, 2011-2015). The aim of the programme is to reinforce the creation and production of cultural goods and services in ACP countries and, in particular, to promote South-South cooperation, improve access to local, regional, European and international markets and build capacity of culture professionals.
The programme also created an ACP Cultural Observatory, operating under the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States , which aims at a better view and understanding of the cultural sector in the ACP region, its emerging trends and features, and will help structure the sector on a professional and political level. The budget for this action is over EUR 6 million, of which EUR 2,1 million in grants have been allocated to six projects currently in progress in the areas of performing arts, visual arts and music, including technical training, organization of art events, professional seminars and networking as well as artists' residences. A pilot project in five countries also targeted the strengthening of the culture sector with a view to maximizing the sector’s economic and job potential.
The ACP Cultures+ Programme offers an important contribution to the cultural policy landscape with the creation of an Observatory. This is a critical investment to assist developing country Parties to strengthen their capacity in all areas of cultural and creative industries.
Germany: financial support, mentoring or apprenticeship and technical assistance
France supports mobility of artists from developing countries to participate in cultural seasons and festivals and provides dedicated grants and residences programmes (over the past ten years, 1000 artists from developing countries have benefited from these programmes). Specific mobility programmes for artists such as Beyond the Walls targeting young creators in the fields of visual and performing arts and Louis Lumière targeting young film directors are implemented, along with initiatives addressing cultural professionals coordinated by Bureau d’accueil des artistes et professionnels étrangers and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
A special effort is made to foresee and resolve problems related to entry visas for artists and cultural professionals from developing countries. France has developed a framework so that cultural professionals are updated on visa requirement on a fairly regular (twice yearly) basis. France recognizes that visa facilitation is a recurring issue throughout the cultural sector which must constantly be addressed.
The French mobility programmes target both artists and cultural professionals from developing countries, providing financial support and regularly updated information on visa requirements addressing barriers regularly faced.
Mongolia’s strategic support to its cultural industries
World Cinema Fund stands out as an effective tool for the preferential treatment of filmmakers and films from developing and emerging countries. It was created in 2004 as an additional project of the Berlinale International Film Festival for feature-length films, and as a result of a cooperation between the festival, the Federal Foundation for Culture, Goethe Institut, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Deutsche Welle/DW Academy, the Foreign Ministry and German film producers. The WCF’s budget for supporting co-production and distribution totals about EUR 400,000 (USD 530,000) per year. Support is focused on the following regions: Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and the Caucasus.
Since 2004, 1,651 films have been submitted from developing and emerging countries, 93 of which have received financial support. These films are shown at renowned festivals and have since received numerous distinctions such as their Golden Palms, Golden Bears and Oscar nominations.
This Fund stands out as an effective tool to provide preferential treatment for filmmakers and films from developing and emerging countries through financial support, mentoring or apprenticeship and technical assistance.
Slovenia’s initiative to build capacities of Afghan artists through training and technical assistance
Mongolia enjoys tariff concessions provided by developed countries such as the USA, Canada, and many countries of the European Union. These concessions are granted on the basis of the Certificate of Origin of Goods from Mongolia. For the period 2006-2015, trade concessions with the EU enabled the export of a number of cultural products including statues and other decorative items made of wood, paints, photos, leather and semi-leather cloths, items for decoration, jewelry boxes, hand bags, purses, etc.
This is an excellent example of the use of trade agreements by a developing country to facilitate market access and market penetration and to provide strategic support to domestic cultural sector and cultural industries.
Sweden: North – South cooperation/partnerships
Slovenia has been implementing a wide array of capacity-building projects for young Afghan artists, including the strengthening of technical and institutional capacities at Herat University’s Faculty of Fine Arts.
In 2010, projects included the digitalization of the Herat University library, art workshops and exhibitions of the works of Afghan refugees. Also in 2010, a Slovenian youth cultural center, Pionirski Dom, in cooperation with the Slovenian Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the United States in Ljubljana, carried out a project entitled “Art Without Borders”. In 2011, Slovenia continued to actively support the further development of graphic arts, notably with a project providing the Faculty of Fine Arts with graphic equipment which enabled its professors and students to further develop their knowledge of graphic techniques.
This case illustrates a wide array of projects leading to the establishment of a process of institutional and individual capacity-building.
The Swedish Arts Council manages and implements a Sida-funded programme Partner Driven Cooperation in the Field of Culture 2011-2013. The overall objective is to strengthen cooperation in the field of culture between Sweden and Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, China, India, and Indonesia aimed at contributing to poverty reduction and equitable and sustainable development.
This new programme builds on the experience of the Swedish-South African Culture Partnership Programme (CPP) implemented in 2004-2008. CCP focused on nurturing cultural partnerships for development. A mid-term review conducted after the initial three years of CCP found that 25 Swedish and 25 South African institutions had jointly worked on building long-term projects and relationships and that the activities were relevant to both countries’ needs. The evaluators also noted that the programme showed an impressive range of creative work from grassroots organizations and professional institutions.
The partnership-driven approach promoted by Sweden gives recipients greater autonomy and responsibility in the design and implementation of cultural cooperation programmes and offers an alternative to the donor-driven model which dominates the field.
4. Integration of culture in sustainable development
Incorporation of culture in Latvia’s planning for sustainable development
Art Incubators in the Creative Industries Strategy of Lithuania
Latvia 2030 is a long-term strategy guiding the country’s economic and social development.. This strategy explicitly includes culture, in particular the nation’s human and cultural capital, as essential elements in the development programme. It sees Latvia’s creative potential as one of the main driving forces of development. The objectives of the strategy are reflected in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2007-2013 adopted in 2006, and the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) 2010-2013 adopted in 2010. Both of these instruments give strong emphasis to the creative sector. The SDP is explicitly designed to increase the country’s competitiveness, with priority for economic growth, social security and reforms in the public sector. In the cultural arena it aims to develop creative industries, to expand audiences, and to increase the export of cultural services.
Latvia’s case is a good illustration of how the cultural sector in all its aspects is integrated into a national development process and has become an integral and essential part of sustainable development programming across the board.
Namibia’s Policy on Arts and Culture
The Creative Industries Promotion and Development Strategy has been in operation in Lithuania since 2007 with the objective of encouraging the establishment of creative industries, improving their competitiveness and increasing their contribution to the economy. One measure for implementing this strategy is support for art incubators co-funded with the European Regional Development Fund. An art incubator is a non-profit organisation which provides its infrastructure and facilities to artists and others working in the creative industries in order to enable them to create and present their works to the public. The art incubators also initiate business start-ups, and encourage local communities to participate in cultural life.
Business incubators are a well-established means of encouraging entrepreneurial initiative and providing relevant skilling to potential SMEs in a number of sectors. Their use in the cultural sector as in Lithuania is especially important as a means of providing small-scale financing and technical assistance to emerging creative businesses.
Agenda 21 for Culture in Quebec
Namibia’s Policy on Arts and Culture is implemented under the National Development Plan Two (NDP2) that includes provisions to optimise the economic contribution of the arts and culture, and to support artists, cultural organisations and others across all areas of the arts.
This approach has been further integrated into the country’s Medium-term Plan.
Namibia is a good example of a developing country which has many significant development issues to deal with, and has recognised the integral role for a range of measures to promote culture and the arts as essential contributors to its national development plan.
Monitoring sustainable development: Switzerland’s MONET project
The government of the Canadian province of Quebec has elaborated an “Agenda 21 for Culture” as a basis for its efforts to integrate culture into the province’s sustainable development programme. The Agenda establishes principles and objectives which cover cultural, social, economic and environmental sustainability. The strategy emphasises cultural diversity, sustainable use of cultural resources, and promotion of creativity and innovation. It is recognized for the manner in which it engages the interests and participation of all branches of government, civil society and the private sector.
The Agenda 21 for Culture in Quebec is an important example of the way a strategy for sustainable development could be built, particularly at a regional or provincial level.
Switzerland has put in place a system of indicators entitled “Monitoring Sustainable Development” (MONET) covering a range of aspects of sustainable development as it is reflected in social cohesion, economic efficiency, and ecological responsibility. The inclusion of culture as an essential component of this system focuses mainly on its attention to the impact of the arts and culture on social cohesion, in areas such as cultural participation and the preservation of cultural heritage.
The Swiss case is an example of good practice in extending national monitoring systems for sustainable development to include culture, provided that appropriate and measurable indicators can be agreed upon.
5. Involvement of civil society
Austrian Working Group on Cultural Diversity
Promotion of the Convention among civil society in Brazil
The Austrian Working Group on Cultural Diversity (ARGE) was set up in 2004 as a ‘network of networks’ including among its members associations, unions, academic institutions and individual artists. It is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.
Each network/interest group within the ARGE liaises with its constituencies on issues of common interest. In this way, the ARGE’s decisions potentially represent more than 3,500 individuals active in the arts and culture. A specificity of the ARGE is the participation of representatives of the governments of the Lander at ARGE meetings.
It is also noteworthy that the Convention Points of contact within the Federal Ministries responsible for culture, the arts, education, foreign affairs, internal affairs, law, economy and trade, science and media participate in ARGE meetings ensuring that all relevant stakeholders work together to implement the Convention. It obviates challenges in continuity when civil servants, politicians or civil society representatives change jobs or are shifted to other departments.
With the entry into force of the Convention the ARGE extended its fields of activity to encompass (i) sharing and exchange of information, (ii) providing expertise and know-how on cultural policy developments to public authorities, (iii) organizing awareness-raising activities and (iv) monitoring the implementation process as well as developing concrete proposals on how to further this implementation process.
This working group provides a unique forum for continuous dialogue and exchange between representatives of civil society and the public authorities from all government Ministries on matters relating to the Convention.
Bulgarian advisory councils under the Ministry of Culture
In Brazil, civil society participates in the creation, implementation and monitoring of public cultural policies in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, National Council of Cultural Policy, various councils at the municipal level, etc.
During the development of the National Plan for Culture 2011-2020, which is the first Brazilian Government policy document referring to the 2005 Convention as the legal framework, the Ministry of Culture organized a series of workshops on cultural policies in all States of the Federation. These workshops targeted artists, students, researchers and cultural entrepreneurs and discussed, inter alia, the content and issues related to the Convention. Managers and specialists of the Ministry of Culture participated as speakers and as trainers in these workshops.
The Brazilian example illustrates a large-scale consistent effort undertaken by the Government to promote the Convention throughout the country, targeting specifically artists, cultural professionals and entrepreneurs.
Participative governance of culture in Canada
National public expert and advisory councils have been created under the Ministry of Culture for specific domains of activity. Members of the councils include civil society representatives and representatives of academic institutions (universities, art schools and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences). The councils are consulted in the process of elaboration of new cultural policies and measures, or when specific situations or issues arise.
One of the tasks tackled by the councils is the preparation of a draft National Strategy for Development of Bulgarian Culture and Arts up to 2020.
The Bulgarian case illustrates how a Ministry of Culture relies on a wide multi-stakeholder network of advisory councils that provide feedback to the Ministry and facilitate the elaboration of adequate cultural policies and measures.
Coalitions for Cultural Diversity
Civil society’s participation in developing and implementing cultural policies and measures is an important characteristic of Canada’s governance model. For example, in 2009 the Government organized national copyright consultations to provide all Canadians the opportunity to voice their opinion on how the government should address the modernization of copyright laws in an increasingly digital-based context. Canadians were able to participate in this consultation in various manners, including a focus group and an online submission centre that respectively allowed for 2,500 comments and 8,000 submissions to be collected. Nine round tables gathering over 100 participants were held across the country, with the objective of obtaining points of views from experts and organizations. Moreover, the live broadcast of two public meetings on the Web allowed more than 800 Canadians from across the country to participate in the conversation in person and over the Internet. Following this consultation, a bill entitled the Copyright Modernization Act was introduced to the House of Commons.
This type of broad direct consultations with civil society, including the end users and beneficiaries of cultural policies and measures, is a good example of participative governance of culture that is in the spirit of the Convention.
Ecuador’s Citizen Participation Council
The International Federation of Coalition for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD) comprises 43 national Coalitions worldwide and is dedicated to the promotion of the Convention. The IFCCD thus groups over 600 professional culture organizations representing creators, artists, independent producers, distributors, broadcasters and editors in the publishing, motion picture, television, music, performing arts and visual arts fields. The director general of the Canadian Coalition, who also acts as the executive director of the Federation, carries out several international missions each year to promote the Convention at civil society and governmental meetings, such as the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth and OIF (Organisation international de la Francophonie).
Nearly two-thirds of the national Coalitions are in African and Latin American developing countries. The exchange of information promotes the development of common positions, allowing the Federation to actively participate in the work of the Convention’s bodies.
The work of the national Coalitions and the IFCCD has been described as pivotal for the Convention in several Parties’ reports. With its wide international network, the IFCCD produces an inestimable synergy in terms of expert knowledge and resources, which it uses to further international cooperation for development.
The activities of the National Point of Contact in Germany
Ecuador has recently established a Citizen Participation Council, in an effort to improve the flow of information between the Government and citizens, as well as to promote participative governance. Local, regional, and national institutions are working together to create a cultural information system by sharing information with the Ministry of Culture. This information is then fed back to the community in awareness-raising programs at the local level.
The Citizen Participation Council is, by constitutional right, the fifth power of the State. The Council oversees the Tranparency Secretariat, the agency that monitors the accountability of the State. In the framework of the Council, activities and initiatives such as the Cultural Participation Programme actively engage civil society.
This example illustrates how an effort to democratize governance can be successfully applied to the cultural sector.
The Alliance of Culture in Latvia
In March 2007, the Federal Government designated the German Commission for UNESCO (DUK) as the National Point of Contact for the information exchange and implementation of the Convention in Germany. The work of the Point of Contact is funded with an annual sum of EUR 51,000 (USD 68,000) from the Federal Foreign Office. On the basis of this mandate, the Point of Contact has since initiated numerous projects and measures with a focus on awareness-raising and the participation of civil society, more recently in the Arab region.
For instance, in June 2009, together with the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity (IFCCD), the DUK organized the U40 World Forum on the occasion of the Second Conference of Parties to the Convention (UNESCO Headquarters, Paris). Through a worldwide selection process, 50 young experts from 34 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin- and North America, as well as Europe, were selected to participate. The Forum provided a platform for an exchange of information and for getting acquainted with initiatives for the promotion of cultural diversity from all the regions of the world. The DUK continues to provide the Secretariat for the expanding U40 network.
Providing earmarked funding for the national Point of Contact for the Convention enables the latter to dedicate the necessary time to the promotion, coordination and resource mobilization activities in favor of the Convention.
The U40 network in Mexico
Civil society organizations are increasingly involved in shaping cultural policies in Latvia, actively bringing forward concerns of civil society to public authorities. The following activities are undertaken by civil society: (a) active involvement and defending positions concerning the planning of the State budget within the sphere of culture; (b) participation in advisory bodies established under the Ministry of Culture, the Latvian National Commission for UNESCO and other public institutions; (c) advancing international cooperation and networking, promoting new forms of art (for example, digital art) and raising visibility of topical issues of contemporary artistic expressions; (d) bringing forward the issues of education and developing cooperation with higher education institutions; (e) reaching direct cooperation between civil society organizations and the Ministry of Culture concerning the exchange of information.
Regular meetings are held between the representatives of the Ministry of Culture and civil society, in order to discuss, analyze, improve and develop cultural processes in Latvia. The main counterpart for the Ministry of Culture is the Alliance of Culture, a network uniting three large associations and 5000 arts and cultural education institutions and organizations, as well as arts professionals, artists, producers and activists.
Latvia provides an example of vibrant and proactive civil society that organizes in associations and networks to better position itself in relation to governmental counterparts and have a say in cultural policy making.
Civil society consultation process in Norway
The U40 network offers young people Under 40 – postgraduates, PhD students, young professionals– the opportunity to participate in the international debate on the implementation of the Convention.
The 2011-2012 strategic objectives of the U40 Mexico include contributing to the visibility and application of the 2005 UNESCO Convention in the 31 States and 1 Federal District of Mexico. Education and awareness-raising, as well as the enhanced involvement of civil society and private enterprises with Convention are also on the agenda.
To work towards these objectives, the U40 Mexico and the Toluca Town Hall organized in 2011 the Inter-American Meeting for Cultural Diversity that brought together 43 young culture experts and professionals from Mexico and abroad. The meeting consisted of a series of four conferences open to the public and three workshops that discussed the implementation of the Convention at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Mobilizing young professionals to promote the objectives of the Convention in Mexico is a good example of an investing in the future approach.
Paraguay’s National Council of Culture
Norway counts roughly 16 500 civil society organizations active in the field of culture. The voluntary arts and cultural sector has been acknowledged as a vital contributor to cultural diversity since the first White Papers on culture were presented to the Parliament in the 1970s. Voluntary organizations are recognized as vital partners for public authorities in implementing new measures in the cultural field, and public authorities are called upon to cooperate with voluntary organizations to achieve cultural policy objectives and secure the independence of the voluntary arts and cultural sector.
The Norwegian official hearing scheme obliges Government Ministries and their agencies to circulate policy proposals, including cultural policies, for general review to all public and private institutions and organizations concerned including non-governmental and voluntary organizations. The body that circulates a proposal for review should also consider using other ways to ensure participation on the part of those affected, e.g. through the use of information and communication technology, meetings, etc. The period for review is normally three months and no less than six weeks.
This is an example of a formal consultation process with civil society that establishes effective mechanisms for timely feedback and subsequent review of government policies, including cultural policies.
‘Citizens of Culture’ movement in Poland
The National Council of Culture was established in Paraguay in 2010 and includes, along with central and local governmental actors, representatives of various cultural sectors and industries. The Council’s sectoral Working Groups launched the same year have become the main instrument of involvement of civil society in cultural policy-related debates and decision-making. They have contributed to the first study of Paraguay's audiovisual industry, the draft Cinema and Audiovisual Law and in a draft revised Book Law.
Efforts to support independent art organizations in Slovenia
The Citizens of Culture movement established in Poland in 2009 aims to secure common and equal access of citizens to cultural life in accordance with the Constitution. The movement’s objectives include increasing access to culture, in smaller towns, raising cultural competences of citizens, increasing expenditures on culture up to 1% of the state budget, supporting experimental arts and cultural activities. In 2011, a roadmap towards these objectives entitled ‘Pact for Culture’ was signed by the Prime Minister, thus engaging the Government to cooperate with civil society and to take the necessary steps to enable the implementation of the provisions of this social contract between Government and citizens.
This is a good example of a concerted and effective civil society action taken with the aim of engaging with Government in culture, particularly outside the large cities.
According to Exercising of the Public Interest in Culture Act, civil society is involved in cultural policy development mainly through National Council of Culture, Chamber of Culture of Slovenia and Expert commissions of the Minister. The National Council for Culture is an independent body which directs the national strategy for culture. The Chamber of Culture of Slovenia is a voluntary organization of professional associations that monitors and evaluates the effect of cultural policy on cultural development, gives its opinion on the national programme for culture and on the annual implementation reports, considers bills and other draft regulations and regulatory proposals for the regulation of individual issues in the field of culture. Expert commissions are consultative bodies of the Minister for specific areas or aspects of culture.
In 2009 and 2010 the Slovenian Association of Arts and Culture carried out a project "Networking and capacity building of NGOs in culture" through which it encouraged advocacy for culture as well promoted "structured dialogue" between civil society and public authorities in the field of culture. The immediate result of the project was the establishment of a special working group to solve issues related to improvement of working conditions for professional independent art organizations.
This is a good example of a productive dialogue and cooperation between civil society organizations and the Ministry of Culture in pursuit of specific policy objectives.