home > publications > review > no.20 > research  
 

Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.20/November 1996 - contents - imprint - archive

Management of Cultural Pluralism in Europe Project

Regional UNESCO Networking of the World Decade for Cultural Development

Following the recommendations of the 1992 Sigtuna brain-storming session on multicultural societies which was organised by the Swedish and German National Commissions for UNESCO, a follow up seminar was organised in March 1995, in Gimo, Sweden. The Gimo seminar was organised by the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO in co-operation with CEIFO, Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, University of Stockholm, Sweden. During the Gimo seminar an idea was put forward of the future structure of the research - a 'good practices'-oriented regional network dealing with the contemporary challenges of coexistence of groups with diversified cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Recognising that management of cultural pluralism in Europe touches upon a whole range of diverse issues and challenges, the Gimo seminar discussions focused on the following three issue areas: 'culture and cultural policies', 'education', and 'media and communication'.

The discussions conducted at the Gimo seminar resulted in a consensus concerning the creation of a regional network entitled Management of Cultural Pluralism in Europe. The network is supposed to be both research and policy oriented. It will bring together researchers as well as people involved in the management of cultural pluralism in the three issue areas mentioned above, namely, 'culture', 'education' and 'media and communication.' The report from the Gimo seminar entitled Management of Cultural Pluralism in Europe, ed. by Janina W. Dacyl, may be purchased from CEIFO, Stockholm University. (See Culturelink no. 19/August 1996, pp. 66-67.)

There are three major lines of activities within the network.

I.

Publication of volumes dealing with selected challenges involved in the management of cultural pluralism in each of the three areas - 'culture', 'education' and in 'media and communication'. These three separate volumes, as well as the fourth general volume covering basic theoretical approaches to the study of the contemporary challenges involved in the coexistence of communities with diversified cultural and ethnic backgrounds, are to be presented during one of the seminars organised in connection with Stockholm, Cultural Capital of Europe 1998.

It has been tentatively suggested that each thematic volume should consist of five parts, covering -

  • Past research and policies;
  • Presentation of leading theoretical approaches;
  • Empirical part containing case studies, country reports and good practices;
  • International co-operation in these areas and current policy initiatives;
  • The need for future research.

II.

Formulation of new research and policy oriented projects within respective research groups.

  • Culture Group is co-ordinated by Dr. Steven Vertovec, CRER, Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, England, tel.: +44 - 01203 - 524927; fax: +44 - 01203 - 524324.
    • The group has had several meetings at which the formulation of a new project entitled Multicultural Policies and Modes of Citizenship in European Cities was discussed. An application for financial support for this project involving researchers from a number of Western European countries has been submitted to the UNESCO MOST-Programme. The Culture Group co-operates with other existing networks in the area of management of cultural pluralism in urban environments, for example with the EU's COST A2 network, with the Council of Europe's 'Culture and Neighbourhoods' project, as well as with the joint North American-EU network called 'Metropolis.'
    • Another new research programme within the Culture Group has been launched by Dr. George Muskens, DOCA Bureaus, Bureau for Cultural Research and Consultancy, Simon Stevinstr. 11A, NL-5025 EG Tilburg; tel./fax: +(3113) 544 45 30. The project is called Mixed Border Communities. The first working meeting of the group was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in November 1995, at which researchers from six European countries worked out the structure of the new project. (See DOCA Bureaus, pp. 28-29 in this issue.)
    • The third new project to be launched within the Culture Group is led by Professor Charles Westin, CEIFO, University of Stockholm. The project is entitled An Observatory of Multicultural Development and will concentrate on the on-going reporting of multicultural development in selected multiethnic municipalities. In Stockholm, it will concentrate on the Botkyrka and Tumba districts. The aim of the project activities are on-going studies, seminars and research to produce annual reports on migration, demography, organization of everyday life in multicultural residential areas, health, culture activities, youth, schools, attitudes, and housing. This is a pilot study, and if successful it is planned to be disseminated through the existing networks to other European countries. The ultimate aim is to identify good practices concerning the management of cultural pluralism in multicultural communities on the theoretical level. This is a local as well as universally based project. It is innovative in bringing together different sources of information on cultural pluralism and thus producing the effect of synergy. It is interdisciplinary and holistic (ethnography, statistics, policy), combining research and action and paying attention to good practices.
    • Finally, during the Gimo seminar an idea was put forward to launch a new policy oriented project on artists in the multicultural ethnic communities. The idea was proposed by Mr. Krzysztof Czyzewski, Borderland Foundation and Borderland Centre of Arts, Nations and Cultures, ul. J. Pilsuckiego 37, Box 15, 16-500 Sejny, Poland, tel/fax: +48-87-666 587. This is a challenging and interesting idea bringing us closer to the management of cultural pluralism on the local level. It is hoped that the project will help to identify 'good practices' in the field, to be disseminated in other regions.
  • The Education Group is co-ordinated by Dr. Joan Ramakers, HIVA, University of Leuven, E. Van Evenstraat 2e, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium, tel.: +32 16 323103; fax: +32 16 323134.
  • The Media Group's discussions in Gimo led to the appointment of Ms. Marion Vargaftig, France/UK, as a network consultant with the task of producing an overview of research as well as 'good practices' in the area. In addition, a consultancy service will concentrate on the place of ethnic minorities in the host states' media, as well as on the status of the minority media in Europe (See Media and Cultural Pluralism in Europe, pp. 53-54 in this issue.).

III.

Organization of yearly UNESCO Summer Schools on 'Management of Cultural Pluralism in Europe.' The first Summer School is to be organized in August 1997, at CEIFO, Stockholm University. Further information on the structure of the School will be announced on CEIFO's home page at the end of May 1997.

For more information, please contact: CEIFO, Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations, University of Stockholm, Co-ordinator: Prof. Charles Westin, Operative co-ordinator: Dr. Janina W. Dacyl, S-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden, tel.: +46 8 16 20 00; fax: +46 8 15 67 20. Continuous information on the current network activities may be found on CEIFO's home page on the Internet: http://www.ceifo.su.se/

return to top of page

Comparative Study of European Mixed Communities

In the wake of the project on Multilingualism and Ethnicity in Europe (1989-1993) and the UNESCO conference on Management of Cultural Pluralism (Gimo, March 1995), (See Culturelink no. 19/August 1996, pp. 66-67 and pp. 25-27 in this issue.) the DOCA Bureaus - Bureau for Cultural Research and Consultancy (See Culturelink no. 15/April 1995, p. 19.) proposed to initiate comparative research and launch network activities on the issue of Mixed Communities in Europe. With the support of the Slovenian UNESCO Commission, the Institute of Ethnic Studies in Ljubljana and the Council of Europe, six experts met in Ljubljana in November 1995 to discuss comparative research on mixed communities in Europe. The outcome of this meeting was a proposal for a project called Managing the mix thereafter - Comparative research on mixed communities in three independent successor states.

The proposal envisages a comparative (pilot) project on three different East European mixed communities, i.e., those in Prekmurje (Slovenia), Uzhgorod (Ukraine) and Silla Mäe (Estonia). The project involves initial and in-depth study of the communities, as well as a comparative analysis of common research questions relating to (1) the changing demographic structure in a historical perspective, (2) local or regional policy and practice, and (3) 'good practice indicators', as well as 'bad practice indicators'. The research is scheduled to be completed between July 1996 and June 1998.

The project Managing the mix thereafter is the first, and important, step towards understanding mixed communities in Europe. However, the project needs the support of a research network for the comparative study of European mixed communities. The network will consist of a considerable number of regional and disciplinary experts who will exchange further findings on (other) mixed communities. They will discuss and review the findings of the project and produce state-of-the-art reports from the perspective of the relevant disciplines, such as minority linguistics (multilingualism and bilingual education), human geography (mental mapping), social anthropology (community studies), sociology (ethnic resource mobilisation), history (roots), etc. Researchers will be invited to present research reports on other mixed communities. Questions of grassroots multiculturalism, community language(s), education, the cultural forms of everyday life in mixed communities, as well as its rituals, intermarriage, etc., will be studied.

The network consists of a considerable number of regional and disciplinary experts. It grows by invitation and by the snowball effect. For the coming two years (1997-1998), four round tables with approximately 40 participants and observers are scheduled in conjunction with the project meetings of Managing the mix thereafter. The template of each round table includes (1) a state-of-the-art report from one of the disciplines relevant for the study of mixed communities, (2) (interim) reports about the case studies and their comparative analysis, and (3) reports on other communities in the region. For the latter, meetings will be held in different places related to the project. The meeting places are (1) Frysia/the Netherlands (regional focus Western Europe), Silla Mäe/Estonia (regional focus Northern Europe), Uzhgorod/Ukraine (regional focus Central and Eastern Europe), and Andorra (regional focus Southern and Mediterranean Europe).

Reports will be published in book form by UNESCO, in its series Management of Cultural Pluralism, and in other books and special issues of journals, network reports, reports to funding agencies, and reports to the wider community of policy makers. The network co-ordination costs will be covered by UNESCO's World Decade for Cultural Development.

Address: DOCA Bureaus, George Muskens, Simon Stevinstr. 11A NL-5025 EG Tilburg, The Netherlands, tel./fax: (+31 13) 544 45 30; e-mail: docabur@knoware.nl

return to top of page

Ilitha Arts Education Project

In association with the National Arts Coalition, the Rhodes University Drama Department hosted an Arts Education Conference, held in Grahamstown, South Africa, 24-26 April 1995, centred around the Ilitha ('Ilitha' is a Xhosa word referring to the light emitted by a fire around which a community gathers.) Arts Education Project. It was the goal of the conference to devise a plan for implementing arts education policies in South Africa and to launch the Ilitha Project with the aim to develop arts education through -

  • education and training of teachers,
  • promotion of projects providing opportunities for skill development,
  • contribution to the development of resource materials, and
  • sharing ideas through an active network of educators.

The Ilitha Project is a large-scale collaborative project to meet the many challenges facing arts educators in implementing policy through an Action Plan promoting the issues discussed at the conference and setting practical, manageable tasks. The conference included not only formal sessions with papers and presentations, but also panel and small group discussions, interactive workshops, tours, performances and exhibitions. Besides extracting the practical possibilities for moving forward, the Action Plan is to adapt to a whole new philosophy, identifying the objectives and changing principles for a new approach to arts education in South Africa. Building on what has already been done, the Ilitha Project has used the Arts and Culture Task Group document as a guide, and has ensured that any policy proposals arising from the Ilitha Conference and regarding arts education will be adopted as policy by the country's National Arts Council.

Supported by the Eastern Cape Department of Education and Culture, the Ilitha Arts Education Project has published the first issue of Artreach, its quarterly newsletter for the promotion and development of arts education in South Africa's schools and communities. It is to serve as a classroom resource and networking facility for educators working in the field of arts. Each issue is to include information on arts, crafts, dance, drama and music, lesson plans, classroom ideas, and reports on projects and events.

For more information, please contact: Michael Carklin, Director, Ilitha Arts Education Project, Drama Department, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown, 6140 South Arica, tel.: (0461) 31 8538; fax: (0461) 2 2871.

return to top of page

An Experience on Intensive Training for Management of Cultural Projects in Argentina

The Argentine National Institute of Anthropology has hosted an interesting training experience, in Spanish, on Management of Cultural Projects. It was organised by the Argentine Institute of Management and Cultural Policies, with the support of the Antorchas Foundation and the Cultural Secretary of the Argentine Government.

Training cultural managers is a growing need when considering diverse cultural scenarios (municipalities, city administrators, cultural secretariats at province levels, institutions related to theatre, fine arts, music, dance, cultural animation, etc.). The training of human resources is an essential factor for the development of public administration and private sector agencies involved in cultural development. It is a process that allows for the enhancement of individual work and it is also one of the many demands that civil society places before the state sector, namely to improve its efficiency.

In August-September 1996, a two-week intensive course was taught by Enrique Saravia and Herman Roberto Thiry Cherques. E. Saravia, an advisor to the World Bank, is the Director of the U.N. Regional Project on the Modernisation of the Organisation and Management of the State, at CLAD, Caracas, Venezuela, and former Director of Postgraduate Studies in Public Administration at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Herman Thiry Cherques is the Director of Consultancy Division at the Brazilian School of Public Administration (EBAP), of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has lectured and taught in many countries in Latin America, USA, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, etc.

The topics covered in the course were theoretical and practical aspects of:

  • Cultural policies, financing and marketing of cultural projects;
  • Building-up of the terms of reference for a cultural project: issues of the project, sequences of the project, environment, costs and benefits, and terms of reference.

The 40 students came from a wide range of geographical, institutional and professional backgrounds in Argentina. The participants were divided in 5 groups and prepared, as a practical assignment, 5 cultural projects:

  • a festival of string instruments from the Mercosur region, to be held in a province in Argentina;
  • a museum exhibition for a small city in Uruguay, about the 'mate', a recipient for the most popular infusion beverage;
  • a mega-exhibition covering 20 years of humour in Argentina;
  • a series of radio-theatre plays by Argentine authors;
  • a series of TV programmes called 'Lost in Buenos Aires', with chapters on specific cultural aspects of neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires.

What's next?

In view of the excellent results (the five projects were evaluated as 'A'), the participants have been invited to present projects for the 1997 meeting of the Management Arts and Culture International Association in San Francisco, USA.

The next advanced step of this course (also in Spanish) will be at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, sponsored by the American Organisation of American States (OEA/AOS).

For more information, please contact: Instituto Nacional de Antropologìa y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, Secretaria de Cultura de la Naciòn, Dir. Diana Rolandi de Perrot, 3 de febrero 1378, 1426 Buenos Aires, Argentina, fax: 541 784 3378, and
Instituto Argentino de Gestiòn y Politìcas Culturales, Lic. Daniel R. Rìos, Paraguay 4829 - 5* p. A, 1425 Buenos Aires, Argentina, fax: 541 771 2006.

return to top of page

Lectureship in the Arts in a Pluralist Society

An Initiative of the Cooperative Program in Arts Administration University of Toronto - Scarborough College
Prepared by Greg Baeker

Overview

Scarborough College in the University of Toronto is establishing a Lectureship to strengthen teaching, learning and research in questions of the arts in a pluralist society. The College has secured a lead contribution of $400,000.00 from the Multiculturalism and Citizenship Division of the Department of Canadian Heritage toward the Lectureship and is seeking further funding. The Lectureship will be linked to a burgeoning international network of academic institutions and cultural researchers engaged in these issues. Application for designation under the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program is under way.

Rationale

No more pressing issue faces Canada's arts and cultural sector now than the need to reverse exclusion and respond to the country's increasingly diverse population. Like other public institutions and social services, Canadian cultural institutions must reinvent themselves, rethink their mandates and programs, and bring about change in their staff and boards. Traditional management and governance models must change in response to the changing social environment.

More profoundly, questions of 'what culture? whose heritage?' challenge the very definition of what we regard as matters of the arts and culture. Canadian cultural policy has been largely constructed on the basis of nineteenth century European assumptions regarding homogeneous national identities. These assumptions have shaped our understanding of concepts of 'identity', 'ethnicity', 'dominant and marginal' cultures, etc.

Demands from ethno-racial and aboriginal communities for greater equity in funding, employment and relevant cultural content and programming mean that, increasingly, cultural policy is being examined in a human rights framework (Cohnstaedt 1988, CIRCLE 1993). Cultural issues have become highly politicized. Hutcheon (1989, 1995) argues that in the context of rising cultural and political consciousness, it is where these forces intersect that we may find some of the most valuable opportunities for transformation. The rising 'politics of identity' have profound implications for artists, arts managers and policy-makers.

Theoretical Framework

New conceptual and analytical frameworks are a prerequisite for constructing the new institutional practices needed to address issues of the arts and culture in a pluralist society. Human rights frameworks are an important source of insight, although cultural rights are recognized as an underdeveloped category of human rights (CIRCLE 1993).

The move away from singular perspectives of 'class' or 'gender' as primary conceptual and organisational categories has resulted in an awareness of the multiple subject positions - of race, gender, generation, institutional location, sexual orientation - that inhabit any claim to identity in the postmodern world. Here difference is not so much a reflection of pre-given ethnic or cultural norms and fixed traditions, as it is a complex on-going negotiation.

Important theoretical and applied insights are emerging from cultural studies, an interdisciplinary field of study linking sociology, anthropology, semiotics, political science, literary criticism, cultural management and cultural policy, etc. Scarborough College is proposing the development of a cultural studies program that will make substantial contributions to the Lectureship program.

Program

The program is currently being developed. In addition to traditional teaching and research commitments, the Lectureship is based on a strong commitment to community partnerships in the design and delivery of activity. This will include action research methods involving shared responsibility between scholars and activists or practitioners. These approaches are premised on the assumption that practitioners and scholars/critics must work together to challenge institutionalized discrimination in cultural and media organizations.

The model envisions the appointment of a different individual annually or every two years, thus allowing for the representation of diverse ethno-racial communities. The appointment could be for a visiting scholar from elsewhere in the country or the world, but it could also be for a practising arts manager or cultural activist with demonstrated academic abilities.

Policy Relevance

A Community Study has been completed and strong letters of support for the Lectureship have been received from the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils, the Canada Council, from the Mayor of Scarborough, from the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Ontario College of Art, from Desh Pardesh, the Ontario Society for Services to Indo-Caribbean Canadians, from Vision TV, and many others. All draw attention to the need for analytical and critical materials produced in this country. An institution capable of stimulating, inspiring and nurturing a critical body of Canadian analysis is sorely needed.

Notes

Cohnstaedt, Joy, 'Human Rights and Canadian Cultural Policy'. In Practicing the Arts in Canada: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies. (1988).

Department of Canadian Heritage, Crossing Frontiers: Issues of Heritage. Culture and Identity in a Comparative Context - Conference Report. (Ottawa: DOCH, 1995).

Hutcheon, Linda. The Politics of Postmodernism. (London: Routledge, 1989).

Hutcheon, Linda. Irony's Edge: The Theory and Politics of Irony. (London and New York: Routledge, 1995).

Cultural Information and Research Centres Liaison in Europe (CIRCLE), The Right to Participate in Cultural Life - The Proceedings from the European Roundtable on Human Rights and Cultural Policies in a Changing Europe. (Helsinki, 1993).

For more information, please contact: Greg Baeker, 105 Winchester Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4X 1B3; e-mail: gbaeker@web.net

return to top of page

Planning for Equality?

Decentralization in Cultural Policy
Nobuko Kawashima, Centre for the Study of Cultural Policy, University of Warwick, 1996, 88 pp.

Planning for Equality? Decentralization in Cultural Policy by Nobuko Kawashima is the first Working Paper in the series edited by Oliver Bennett of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Policy, School of Theatre Studies of the University of Warwick. It presents the first research project undertaken since the research cooperation was established in 1995 between the West Midlands Arts Board and the Centre. Decentralization in cultural policy, its both theoretical and practical aspects, are examined, with a particular focus on the British experience. The study examines the conceptual framework for the discussion of 'decentralization' in the context of cultural policy, looks at the British case, and analyses the problems which decentralization has brought about in the British cultural policy. The study includes analyses of policy documents, combined with personal interviews with executive directors of arts institutions, arts officers of the local authorities, as well as executives of different arts boards and arts councils.

The first part of the study examines theories of decentralization and identifies different meanings, values and strategies of decentralization. The author identifies three aspects of decentralization in relation to cultural policy: cultural (where decentralization is a policy objective), fiscal (decentralization concerns disparity in public expenditure), and political, where decentralization means the diffusion of political and administrative power for decision-making and implementation in cultural policy. The second part of the study describes the historical development of cultural and political decentralization in Britain. The relevant actions and events relating to this are given in an appendix. The discussion highlights some of the key issues in political and cultural decentralization in British cultural policy. The author focuses on accountability and division of labor as the main issues in the political decentralization, and finds that the division of roles in cultural policy between different authorities has not been well-defined. The concept of equality is the key one in cultural decentralization, and the author finds that political and cultural decentralization are contradictory and difficult to accommodate in one policy.

To obtain the report, please contact: Kate Brennan, Secretary, School of Theatre Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK, tel.: +44 1203 523020; fax: +44 1203 524446.

return to top of page

The IAIE Project on Intercultural Education

The International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE) is one of the leading non-governmental organizations dealing with intercultural/multicultural issues, headquartered in Hilversum, The Netherlands, and with 450 members in 54 countries. Its aims are to examine the implications of the societal context of education and the relationship between society, the state and the international context, to contribute to the development of intercultural education in multicultural societies, and to promote the exchange of information in this field. The IAIE collaborates with UNESCO, UNICEF, OECD, the Council of Europe, and the European Union.

The main current activities of the IAIE include the publication of The European Journal of Intercultural Studies (three times a year), EUNIT (European Network of Intercultural Teacher Education), projects (for instance, Cooperative Learning in Intercultural Education Project - CLIP), organisation of conferences and seminars, consultancy activities, etc.

One of the IAIE's projects is Being a Member of the Council of Europe and UNESCO: Implications for Education, which was discussed at the meeting of experts in Budapest, 21 - 22 April 1996. The preparatory document was the publication The International Basis for Intercultural Education, Including Anti-Racist and Human Right Education (IAIE, Council of Europe, UNESCO, 1995), which was subsidized by the Council of Europe.

The objective of the project is to help the Central and Eastern European countries in transition to develop intercultural education, human rights education, and education for democratization. The transformation of educational systems of these countries is very complex and it has to be an integral part of the entire process of democratization. Intercultural education and civics education are of great importance in achieving these goals. Teachers are expected to have the main role in these changes in education, so particular attention should be given to the in-service training of teachers to prepare them for education on human rights and democratization.

At the meeting, experience was presented from some Central and Eastern European countries in organizing in-service training of teachers, preparing them to be real promoters of inter-cultural ideas. It was proposed to initiate a new international project with the support of the Anne Frank Stichting focusing on in-service training of teachers in the Central and Eastern European countries, whose achievements will be presented and evaluated at the IAIE international conference to be held also in Budapest in 1997.

For more information, please contact: International Association for Intercultural Education - IAIE, c/o APbO 'Pieter Batelaan', Sumatralaan 37, NL-1217 GP Hilversum, The Netherlands, tel.: 31 35 6247375; fax: 31 35 6239244 e-mail: 100751.1452@compuserve.com

return to top of page

Civil Society Project

The North-South Institute has launched a two-year project entitled A New Solution? Investigating Northern Support to Southern Civil Society. It includes the case study of Kenya and various other activities.

Contact: Dr Alison Van Rooy, The North-South Institute, 200-55 Murray Street, Ottawa K1N 5M3, Canada, tel.: +1 613 241 3535; fax: +1 613 241 7435; e-mail: avanrooy@web.apc.org or nsi@web.apc.org

(Source: Partners in African Publishing, no. 5/1996)

return to top of page

A Multinational Programme for Latin American Cities

Following Recommendation 41 by the Mondiacult World Conference (Mexico, 1982), the Rio Declaration on Cities (1992) and the decision of UNESCO's 27th General Conference (Paris, 1993), the Programa Multinacional: La Ciudad Latino-americana (Multinational Programme for Latin American Cities) was launched by the Instituto Regional de Estudios Urbanos (IREU) in co-operation with the Environment and Population Education and Information for Development (EPD) project and the Banco Internacional de Desarrollo (BID), within the framework of UNESCO's programme on Latin American cities. The rationale of the programme is that the social, economic and environmental problems arising from the overpopulation of Latin American cities are largely due to the adoption of imported forms of urban development. In order to do away with these problems, it is necessary to revert to the traditional models of development, best suited to the artistic and cultural expression of the Latin American people.

The following are the major points of action of the programme:

  • Research on the cultural, legal, economic and social factors that have contributed to the development of Latin-American cities;
  • Formulation of regional criteria for urban growth/improvement incorporating cultural, environmental and safety factors;
  • Elaboration of legal, technical and urban planning instruments;
  • Definition and recommendation of qualitative criteria for the development of new populated centres with the participation of civil authorities and local populations;
  • Promotion of projects meeting the above mentioned criteria;
  • Training of human resources in development and management of cities and populated centres through the promotion of specialized courses in the academic centres of the region.

The first major concrete action has been the initiation, by the Government of Venezuela, of the construction of an 'ecological' city, Ciudad Sucre, on the border with Colombia, underlining the importance that Venezuela attaches to the development and management of its border region. With this initiative, the Venezuelan government aims to:

  • begin a veritable chain of border cities with the restructuring, remodelling and regrouping of other populations and construction of other cities;
  • make available health, social, cultural services as well as work opportunities to dispersed rural populations;
  • put a check on the existing conditions of insecurity in the frontier zone;
  • harmonize development with the Colombian side of the border;
  • initiate a new model of frontier zone occupation and development; and
  • anticipate the increase in urbanization on the completion of the Caracas-Bogota-Quito-Lima highway.

For further information, please contact: UNESCO Office, Av. Los Chorros, c/c Calle Acueducto, Edf. Asovincar, Altos de Sebucan, P.O. Box 60.394, Caracas 1062-A, Venezuela, tel.: (58-2) 283 13 33; fax: (58-2) 286 03 26.

(Source: Connect, no. 2/1996)

return to top of page

Cultural Industries in Australia

The Cultural Industries Development Program of the Australian Commonwealth Department of Communications and the Arts has brought to our attention several recent studies relating to the cultural industries in Australia. The studies were undertaken for the Commonwealth Department by the National Culture and Recreation Statistics Unit of the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and they deal with cultural funding, business sponsorships of cultural activities, book publishing, overseas born persons and the arts, and employment in culture.

Three of the studies (March and April 1996) are reports to the Cultural Ministers Council, published by their Cultural Industries Statistics Working Group. The reports 'Youth and the Arts' and 'Overseas Born Persons and the Arts' both examine the position and involvement in the arts and cultural pursuits of the respective groups in terms of employment, expenditure, attendance and leisure activities. Both reports first examine the surveyed populations. The 15-24 age group accounts for 15% of the total population, with an estimated downward trend owing to the increase of the older population in Australia. In the work force, this age group accounts for 15.8% of the cultural industries work force, compared to 19.5% in all the employed people. The reports note with concern that young people hold mainly low-level jobs in the cultural industries, but are the biggest spenders on cultural commodities as well as on entertainment and active leisure activities. Among the young population, students and people with higher education are the main group participating in cultural activities. The share in the Australian population of persons over 15 years of age born overseas was, according to the 1991 census, over 27% (of which 15.8% were from non-English speaking countries). While the population of Australia doubled in the 1947-1991 period, the overseas population increased fivefold, creating a cultural diversity which is characteristic of the contemporary Australian cultural life. The survey showed that 26.2% of this population worked in cultural occupations as their main jobs, with 15.4% belonging the group from English speaking countries. The involvement in culture and leisure activities of overseas born persons from non-English speaking countries was found to be half of those from English speaking countries, but for those who were involved the time spent on culture was similar to Australian born persons. In some cultural areas the overseas born persons were more highly involved in cultural activities than the Australian born persons. This included visiting libraries, book reading, gallery/museum attendance, television viewing, while in music and film they spent less time than those born in Australia. The persons from non-English speaking countries participated less in all fields of cultural activities than those from English speaking countries.

The report on 'Cultural Funding in Australia 1993-1994' documents the extent and types of public support for a wide range of arts and cultural activities in Australia. The data in the report relate to government funding by State and Territory, including recurrent and capital funding. The cultural activities funded from public sources in this period included radio and television broadcasting, national parks and wildlife services, libraries and archives, museums, film and video, performing arts venues and art centers, art galleries, performing arts, cultural heritage, zoological and botanic gardens, administration of culture, community cultural activities, visual arts, crafts and photography, music, literature and publishing, public halls and civil centres, and other miscellaneous cultural activities.

The two most recent studies (May and June 1996) are part of the Cultural Trends in Australia series. Publication no. 2 is devoted to Australian Book Publishing in 1994, and no. 3 to Business Sponsorship of Cultural Activities in 1993-94. This report highlights the positive role of the cultural tax incentive programmes, such as the Taxation Incentives for the Arts Scheme and the Register of Cultural Organizations, which were introduced by the government to help attract corporate and individual donations to the arts and culture. The survey showed that big business is a major contributor to the cultural sector, but that smaller and medium-sized businesses were a larger market although their contribution was still smaller. More than 22 per cent of all cultural sponsorships came from the finance and insurance industry, while the most valuable deals were with the communication services.

The report 'Employment in Culture' (August 1995) stresses the importance of cultural activities in the Australian economy, by bringing together existing data sources with a view to improving estimates of existing levels of employment in culture in Australia, providing a profile of employment in culture, and identifying the areas of likely future growth in culture.

We have also received the latest issue (no. 6, June 1996) of the journal Smarts, which focuses on design in all its varied aspects. The journal is published by the Industry and Export Development Section of the Department of Communications and the Arts, in an effort to provide a national forum to discuss issues relating to the growth, export and future of Australia's cultural industries.

For more information, please contact: Cultural Industries Development Program, Department of Communications and the Arts, GPO Box 2154, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia, tel.: (06) 279 1670; fax: (06) 279 1818; e-mail: pmcinnes@dca.gov.au; WWW homepage: http://www.dca.gov.au/