Experts from the Caribbean film sector and its diaspora sign the Trinidad and Tobago Declaration
On 27 September, at the closing session of the Conference Cameras of Diversity for a Culture of Peace: Thematic Debates on Developing the Caribbean Film Industry, 51 specialists signed the Trinidad and Tobago Declaration. The document parts from the value of culture as a driving force for sustainable development and delves through seven sections into the areas of necessary intervention in order to develop a culture of peace in the region by improving legal frameworks, increasing investment and strengthening film industries in general.
Members of the national film commissions, regional festival directors, producers, artists and distributors, private distribution initiatives, universities and schools held discussions on their respective fields of expertise to draft a document that would serve as a starting point for future action plans and road maps that will make it possible to increase the contribution of films and the industry to sustainable development. The main themes included on the agenda discussed by Caribbean experts were the value of the industry for economic development, social cohesion, formal education in film schools and non-formal education through access to local film industries, the perception of gender equity and the empowerment of women, the improvement of legal frameworks for the creation, production and consumption of films with a local content and of cultural policies in general, as well as the diversity of cultural expressions, freedom of expression, and the access and use of the new technologies.
The opening session was in charge of the specialist in audiovisual industries Leire Fernández, consultant at the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Havana, Cuba, who highlighted the fundamental role of culture in development given its double value as a driving force for economic development and as a vector of identity. She also stressed the importance of creative industries, specifically in the emerging economies of some Caribbean countries. She added that actions such as the Cameras of Diversity conference are decisive since they serve as a forum of discussion and at the same time as an observatory to make a diagnosis of the actual needs of the region, and at the same time they enable a direct dialogue among all the actors that take part and contribute to the development of the sector.
The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the international campaign headed by the Organisation within the United Nations system to include Culture as one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) in the review to be held in 2015, were main lines of action on which the agenda of the Conference was focused.
The Trinidad and Tobago Declaration is an operational document, signed by the representatives of the civil society and public policies linked to the sector in the Caribbean, designed to contribute to the international campaign headed by UNESCO, as well as to serve as a starting point for a future action plan that will strengthen Caribbean creative industries favouring the culture of peace in the region.
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