In focus Archive - 2012

©Associazione Tangoblivion - Venice

Season's Greetings from Venice

Together with my whole team, I would like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful holiday season! It has been our priority to enhance a constant dialogue and sharing of information with Member States and all our partners. News articles and page events published on our internet site present the great diversity of activities implemented in the South East European region.

Yolanda Valle-Neff
Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy)

Promoting powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding in South East Europe

Balkan Bridges Speak project takes off with Meriç. Edirne will host the first of several regional encounters within the “Balkan Bridges Speak” project, to be organised in 2013 across South East Europe to highlight bridges as powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding. It will feature round tables on the Organization’s priority areas of work, artistic and cultural performances, public readings, and provide an opportunity for literary personalities, national and local authorities, experts, private partners and universities of the sub-region to exchange experiences.

Towards the elaboration of a roadmap of science priorities in South East Europe

The Science Policy Ministerial Meetings of South East Europe hosted by Bosnia and Herzegovina will discuss science priorities and potential regional strategies to strengthen Research, Technology and Innovation in SEE. The outcomes – a joint declaration, concept papers, a policy analysis and reports - would constitute a conceptual and political base of recommendations for the elaboration of a roadmap to be undertaken in SEE countries with the support of UNESCO programme and in synergy with the future European Research Programme “Horizon 2020”.

Building capacities for the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property

A regional meeting in Gaziantep, Turkey, within the framework of UNESCO’s global initiative, “Culture: a Bridge to Development”, to build capacities in South-East Europe. Beneficiaries will be high level professionals from the region, representing experts from the ministries of culture, ministries of interior, the judiciary system, cultural sites or institutions challenged by situations of illicit trafficking, and media professionals. The workshop, conducted by a pool of international experts and professionals, will last 3 days and be structured around 2 trainings.

Albanian Pavilion: In Heritage

This is the second participation of Albania to the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. The exhibition In Heritage presents new modern approaches in Albania to art and architecture. The visitor is proposed to revisit the concepts of cultural heritage and town planning, and led through some of the most important sites of Albania. The Albanian Pavilion at the 2012 Architecture Bienniale in Venice is commissioned by the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports. The curator is Ilir Voci. The exhibit is open daily Tuesday-Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00 until 25 November 2012.

Sounds of Armenian duduk on the agenda in Venice

Starting from 16 November, Gevorg Dabagyan, a major living expert, will give lessons in duduk, a double-reed woodwind instrument made of apricot wood, conventionally called the “Armenian oboe”, inscribed in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2008). 21 participants have enrolled in the 3-day course of Armenian duduk organised by the Studies and Documentation Centre of Armenian Culture of Venice, in cooperation with the Intercultural Institute of Comparative Music Studies of Giorgio Cini Foundation and UNESCO.

Women in Science and Non-traditional settings

An appointment open to the public in Tirana on 9 November 2012 to celebrate the World Science Day for Peace and Development by focusing attention on the important role of Albanian women in science. Important Albanian women scientists, ministerial representatives and international guests, among them Vita Majce, 2012 L’Oréal-UNESCO International Fellow ‘’For Women in Science”, Slovenia (Molecular microbiology and chemistry), will share how their professional achievements and educational experiences in the various fields of science have affected their lives and careers .

Intangible Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development

Announced the 8th Ministerial Conference on Cultural Heritage in South-East Europe, with the objective to reinforce regional cooperation on capacity-building and the exchange of knowledge and good practices, in particular with regards to the UNESCO global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”. Participating Ministers will present the respective policies and measures to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage in their respective countries, and to enhance this heritage as a driver for intercultural dialogue and sustainable development.

Unveiled: Findings of the Mediterranean Ecological Footprint Trends report

Mediterranean nations have nearly tripled their demand for renewable natural resources and ecological services since 1961. By 2008, the region’s Ecological Footprint - the demand on Earth’s bioproductive land and sea areas - exceeded local ecological assets by more than 150%. Mediterranean nations’ dependence on the availability of ecological assets outside the region exposes them to supply disruptions or price volatility. The Global Footprint Network's report was publically released on 1 October in Venice (Italy).

Memory, Identity and Slow Tourism along the European Waterways

The presence in many European countries of artificial waterways can be considered an evocative cultural, environmental and landscape heritage. It deserves today a renewed, coordinated commitment to its revaluation, by considering both the structural hydraulic works and the historic artifacts in peril. It is necessary to develop new, more coordinated strategies to promote the memory and identity of river navigation in a European perspective and to develop new opportunities for a slow ecotourism along the European waterways.

Science and gender to build a better future

Open access and science 2.0, climate change, women and research, as well as scientific publishing are among the major topics of Trieste Next - European Innovation and Science Research Forum. Meetings, keynote speeches, shows and performances will present science and its developments in an innovative way. "Women and Innovation in the Balkans" will bring together distinguished women from Croatia, Italy, Serbia and Slovenia in a rich debate on the role of women in science and higher education and, especially on how women contribute to the innovation process in the SEE region.

2012 edition of The Best in Heritage

Twenty five awarded museum, heritage and conservation projects will be presented at the 11th edition of "The Best in Heritage" conference, World annual survey of awarded museum, heritage and conservation projects. Organized annually in partnership with Europa Nostra, the event serves to identify and promote the best museum, heritage and conservation projects in the world, and brings together museum and heritage professionals, institutions and professionals from a broad range of practice and interest in the field of heritage.

Advanced Underwater Archaeology Course 2012

Organized by the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology (ICUA) of Zadar the  2-week course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instructions in the techniques of underwater archaeological excavation. Archaeologists from ICUA and guest lecturers will conduct theoretical lessons, complemented by optional courses in specialty diving according to the requirements of the Scuba Schools International (SSI) system. Practical instruction will take place in the frame of underwater archaeological researches of ancient shipwrecks in the Pula environs, in order to prepare the participants to actively.

Touch Durmitor: Be part of the World Heritage

The festival is organised as part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, under the theme “World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the Role of Local Communities in the Management of World Heritage Sites”, with the specific aim to jointly promote sustainable activities in the World Heritage site of Durmitor and to introduce good practices in aligning actions and efforts for the recognition of the importance and values of the wider Durmitor area and its designations by the Montenegrin public.

AFEX Grand Prix for French architecture overseas – 2012 Edition

Save the date: 28 August for the second Rencontre Architecture and Literature followed by the presentation of the 2012 AFEX Grand Prix. Since 2010, AFEX French Overseas Architects, every other year, rewards a remarkable building constructed abroad by a French architect; it intends with each edition to encourage the relationship between architecture and the other arts. The 2012 winner is the French Lycée Jean-Mermoz in Dakar (Senegal) a project by Terreneuve architectes - Nelly Breton and Olivier Fraisse -, with Adam Yedid and Architecture et Climat.

The United Nations We Want - DaO Conference

Government representatives from more than 40 countries, representatives from donor governments and senior UN officials expressed their strong commitment to take Delivering as One beyond the current stage and to bring about a more coherent, efficient and effective United Nations development system. Over 200 participants discussed, during three days, the lessons learned throughout the implementation of the UN reform process in several parts of the world, its impact at country level, regional and UN system-wide level, and the future of this initiative.

World Heritage and Sustainable Development: the Role of Local Communities

The 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention is an opportunity to reinforce joint efforts towards the development of effective policies and practices for the better management of cultural and natural heritage, with special focus on participatory approaches and community engagement. Both are now recognized as one of the major strategic objectives for the implementation of the Convention and of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, as well as of any sustainable heritage protection.

Imagining the Balkans: History, Memory and Dialogue

Bucharest will host the next meeting to discuss further in depth the preparation of the travelling exhibit - tentatively entitled “Imagining the Balkans”. It will be designed to sustain dialogue and cooperation among museums of the region and enhance a shared reflection on nations-building processes, the transformation of cultural and social practices, and the construction of a European identity and of shared memories. The chronological frame would be the “long 19th century”, starting from around the French revolution and ending with the end of World War 1.

Holocaust education and intercultural understanding in South-East Europe

UNESCO is convening an international meeting of experts to discuss the establishment of a permanent regional exhibit space for 6 Ex-Yugoslav countries within the to-be renovated ex-Yugoslav pavilion (nr. 17) in the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum and Memorial, a site placed on the World Heritage List in 1979 by UNESCO. An international steering committee is being established for this purpose, comprising institutions such as Holocaust Memorial Museum (USA), Mémorial de la Shoah (France), Topographie des Terrors (Germany).

Religious, Cultural and Historical Heritage: Foundation for More Intensive Cooperation

The Heads of States from the South East European region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey) will be attending their annual meeting on 2 June in Mostar. The summit will be attended by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. A Declaration will be adopted, confirming the need to promote inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue as a means to ensure the sustainability of cultural heritage.

A new synergy between media and civil society organizations

An activity in the frame of United Nations Joint Programme to Enhance Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration is on the agenda in June to explore the potential opportunities for cooperation in advocating constructive interethnic dialogue, and to promote awareness among media and civil society organizations about the commonalities in their roles in society. One of the outputs will be a strategy and a series of tools for media and civil society to use in working together to build a more transparent and democratic society.

Phytochemistry and Chemistry of Natural Products for Green and Sustainable Growth

In the frame of the International Year of Chemistry 2011, nine countries from the region founded SEE PhytoChemNet - the Southeast European Network on Phytochemistry and Chemistry of Natural Products for Green and Sustainable Growth. The Regional Steering Committee will have an extended meeting in May to advance in specifying the division of labor in the joint study of Sideritis species as a platform for the elaboration of standardized protocols for extraction, analysis and other related research activities. 

Towards sustainable development

The Project “Outlining a sustainable future for the Po Delta area as a MAB Biosphere Reserve (DMBR)” was designed to facilitate a common effort of supra-communal master planning and management of this territory of outstanding international value, associating the Emilia-Romagna and Veneto Regions. The project agreement signed between UNESCO and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo in March will be officially presented during a Press Conference in Rovigo (Italy) on 16 May.

Promoting a shared vision of intangible cultural heritage in South-East Europe

An appointment for 14 countries and an opportunity to enhance the implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention, to share experiences on national measures and policies, and to reinforce cooperation on shared heritage and capacity-building. After Bulgaria, Turkey, Croatia, Romania and Serbia, Greece takes turn hosting the sixth edition of the annual meeting of the South-East European Experts Network on Intangible Cultural Heritage within the frame of the UNESCO's new global initiative “Culture: a Bridge to Development”.

Securing Competitiveness for the Mediterranean

How is the Mediterranean region's economic crisis linked to ecological crisis? Does the region risk a supply disruption of the resources essential to its economies and well-being? An appointment on 25 June to explore these questions with the launch of a two-year study that investigates the economic implications of resource constraints in the Mediterranean region. The region requires approximately two and a half times more resources than its ecosystems can renew. And external resources are becoming ever scarcer and more expensive.

Albania to prepare World Heritage properties for disaster risk

An integrated approach is necessary for a good management of World Heritage sites, including the too often neglected risk dimension. An accomplished and inedited report, focused on first level of microzonation, conducted by a multidisciplinary Italian-Albanian team composed by Italian will be presented to the public. A “site by site” visit of UNESCO-ICCROM team will follow at the  sites of Gjirokastra/Berat and Butrint, to secure a post-training coaching support to the heritage and civil protection professionals, useful to devise new management plans.

"Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia" draws to a close

The UN Joint Programme mobilized the culture sector in Turkey’s least developed region – eastern Anatolia, to increase incomes and enhance respect of cultural diversity among people of different origin and background, through the development of a sustainable and responsible tourism based on local cultural and natural heritage. It built capacities of managers of cultural assets, tourism professionals, local authorities and civil society in eastern Anatolia to protect and promote their heritage, while at the same time fostering sustainable tourism practices.

Ethical Journalism Forum

The event marks the end of the “Inter-Ethnic Dialogue in the Media Community Project”, which the Association of Journalists has been implementing over the past five months in partnership with UNESCO under the auspices of the Joint Programme to Enhance Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  Target groups of this project are the Council of Honor, the journalists and journalism students, the TV news desks, as well as the commercial media news desks, and certainly the wider public.

Open Discovery Space eLearning Project

The Open Discovery Space – an innovative European Commission funded project (CIP PSP call 5, Objective 2.4 eLearning) aims to create a socially-powered, multilingual open learning infrastructure to boost the adaptation of eLearning Resources. Open Discovery Space will engage students, teachers, parents and policymakers in a first of its kind pan-European effort to address the key challenges facing the European eLearning environment. UNESCO will use this open resource education platform to enhance the capacity of UNESCO schools in Science Education in selected SEE countries.


The Role of School Principals in Promoting Intercultural Dialogue

School principals of the largest public schools in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will discuss issues regarding the challenges and opportunities of intercultural dialogue in the national public educational system. This roundtable discussion is part of three consecutive events organized by the newly founded Center for Cultural Interaction and Dialogue (CCID) at SEEU and supported by UNESCO. The aim is to encourage an academic debate and discussion on important issues pertaining to intercultural coexistence in the country.

Space, Place and Identity

The ETNOFILm 4 - Visual Anthropology Workshop will draw attention to the critical role of space and place in audiovisual representation across the social sciences, arts and humanities. Questions of space and place further shape the formation of different identities, whether individual subjects, groups, institutions, regions or ecosystems. In a special session, invited museum professionals, ethnologists and visual anthropologists from South-East European countries will discuss the relationship between audiovisual media, representation and intangible heritage research.

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