14.12.2012 - UNESCO Havana/Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Culture and Development at FIART 2012

© UNESCO Havana. Begoña Guzmán during her presentation.

On 14 December, Begoña Guzmán, Programme Consultant in the culture sector of UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, gave a presentation in relation to the periodical magazine Culture and Development, published by that Office. This presentation took place as part of the theory session "The development of craftsmanship in the face of the challenges of the global crisis", which was held in the context of the 16th International Craft Fair FIART 2012. FIART is the most important event of its kind in Cuba, organised each year in Havana by the Cuban Fund of Cultural Goods (FCBC). Jorge Alfonso and Surnai Benítez, respectively Director and Advisor of FCBC, were the hosts of the function, which also included the participation of Olga Rufins, specialist of the UNESCO Havana Office.

The presentation included a broad explanation of the eight editions of the magazine published to date, with particular attention given to the sixth edition, dedicated to "The role of Latin American craftsmanship as a factor in economic, social and cultural development." Guzmán highlighted how that edition demonstrates the need to consider the artisanal sector, not just as a means to generate income or employment, emphasising the value added to these products, in the sense that they can be authentic reflections of identity and a reflection of cultural diversity, the relevance of which cannot be denied in the context of integrated sustainable development (that is, in the economic, social and human spheres). She also announced the arrival of the ninth edition, expected to be released in January 2013.

The Consultant also made reference to the UNESCO Conventions which are relevant to crafts: the Convention of 2003, dedicated to the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, and the Convention of 2005, on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. She explained that these legal instruments contain information in relation to the Funds which UNESCO has established to finance projects that are submitted in response to its public announcement, and which are then selected on the basis of the projects that are best able to contribute to the objectives reflected in those Conventions, matters which are important to disseminate.

At the end, a wide-ranging exchange of ideas took place among the participants and the UNESCO representatives. The Director of FCBC expressed his gratitude for the sustained collaboration of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture and he expressed the wish that, during 2013, this exchange of ideas would continue to deepen, as well as the other ways of strengthening the cooperation between the two entities.

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