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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.22/August 1997 - contents - imprint - archive

Towards a New Transatlantic Civil Society Dialogue (TACD)

The European Foundation Centre (EFC) has launched a new Transatlantic Civil Society Dialogue (TACD). The TACD will take place within the framework of the European Union - United States (EU-US) New Transatlantic Agenda initiated in 1995. It will run parallel to the Transatlantic Business Dialogue (TABD), which has already set a standard for encouraging business involvement with governments in building a transatlantic market place. The TACD will develop a similar EU-US interaction to strengthen and sustain civil society.

The Transatlantic Civil Society Dialogue will take the form of a working group to encourage and develop specific cooperative projects and monitor progress on key initiatives in the field. The group will draw together business, foundation, citizens' association, trade union and government representatives, as well as parliamentarians concerned with EU-US relations. The EFC and the chapters of EFC European and US foundation and corporate members will take a leading role in moving forward this new Transatlantic Civil Society Dialogue. The group will be looking at specific proposals as follows:

  • Corporations in society: Research will be undertaken with TABD corporate participants to develop an EU-US database on successful corporate programmes which strengthen civil society.
  • Supporting the Work of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs): To assist the work of NGOs to develop civil society, civic education and institution-building initiatives throughout the world. Such cooperation could include support and facilitation for NGOs, foundations and citizens' associations promoting citizen action in the field of environment, overseas aid, consumer affairs, social exclusion, youth and minority rights. It would also include building an alliance of citizen actions and influence through CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation, and the straightening of civic education through enhancing the outreach of CIVITAS.
  • Brokering a new dialogue: To establish NGO reciprocal staff/leadership and intern exchanges. To link ARIES, the European Electronic Social Economy Information Service, to Civnet, the Internet site that facilitates communication and research among those engaged in civic education and straightening civil society.
  • Local linkages: To develop and strengthen local initiatives such as town-twinning and sister cities, as well as similar ties between European and US towns. Recommendations for special projects include, in particular, setting up a joint EU-US project on social exclusion in cooperation with sister cities and community foundations.

In addition, a specific EU-US working group on workforce development concerns will be set up. It will, in particular, address education and training issues.

The TACD Working Group will hold its first meeting in the second half of the year. A progress report on the group's activities and projects will be presented during the EFC Annual General Assembly, which will take place in Brussels, 7-8 November 1997.

These decisions were taken at a major conference entitled Transatlantic Conference on Bridging the Atlantic: People-to-People Links, held in Washington, 5-6 May 1997. Four specific areas were examined: civil society, electronic exchange, education, culture and youth, and building partnership in the global economy. The participants investigated current barriers, models and best practices in order to improve existing EU-US links, set up new forums for cooperation and develop cooperative initiatives and projects in the four areas listed above.

European and US representatives involved in the Civil Society discussion group were acutely aware that our societies currently face an array of new challenges, including exclusion, alienation, crime and corruption, which can only be effectively addressed by cooperation between the people of the US and the EU. Practical initiatives are required to extend the reach of citizen associations, foundations, businesses, labour and other non-governmental organisations in strengthening democracy. As outlined during the Conference, much is already being done, but there are various barriers to joint efforts to strengthen and sustain civil society. These include the need for better cooperation between government, business and non-profit organisations and among non-profits themselves, funding limitations for programmes and the underrepresentation or exclusion of important segments of society, including women, ethnic minorities, the elderly, the unemployed, and those of low income.

Details on the Washington Conference, including the Conference Statement and the new TACD initiative, can be obtained from the EFC Secretariat in Brussels.

Address: EFC, European Foundation Centre, 51, rue de la Concorde, B - 1050 Brussels, Belgium, tel.: 32 2 512 89 38; fax: 32 2 512 32 65; e-mail: efc@efc.be

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Project to Promote the Reading Culture in Nigeria

The project entitled Promote the Reading Culture in Nigeria is an initiative of the Heinrich Boll Foundation and is aimed at all those who are presently involved in promoting the reading culture in Africa or in any other continent. The project is planned in two phases. The first phase is brainstorming, to establish what has been and then to fashion out a programme for the future. As part of an on-going national effort at promoting the reading culture at both informal and non-formal levels in Nigeria, a conference on Encouraging Free Speech, Promoting the Reading Culture in Nigeria was held in Kaduna, 28-30 April 1997. Its objective was to bring together various stakeholders in the book development enterprise, journalists/arts writers, literary critics, multilateral agencies and NGOs, to once again discuss and come up with a country report on the situation on the ground. Strategies for a re-launch of a national reading campaign were suggested, as were the guidelines for evaluation of various efforts.

There are also people in the universities doing research in reading as an academic concern in a formal setting. Out there at the grassroots level there are non-governmental organizations that are involved in promoting the reading culture for various reasons. Some do it just for the functionality of it, so that a farmer may understand some basics in order to improve his productivity. There are people who do it to expand the horizon of individuals, so that they can participate in discourses on politics, economy, and so on. All such people should get together in a forum, or on a network, and try collectively to solve some of the problems. As far as financing of the activities is concerned, appeals will be directed at donor agencies and multinational corporations, such as UNESCO, the Ford Foundation, the British Council.

Phase II of the Project is to start in August 1997. This will be the phase where guidelines should be formulated that will help in the evaluation of all the activities, those that have been carried out and those that are contemplated or planned. Therefore, participants from across the world are invited to take their part in the project. The Heinrich Boll Foundation will fully sponsor a limited number of participants. Since the selection has not been made yet, the Culturelink members are invited to send their proposals.

For further information, please contact: Kole Ade-Odutola, Coordinator, Secretariat of the Local Organizing Committee, 23 Oladipo Labinjo Crescent, Off Akinsemoyin Street, P.O.Box 1322, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria; tel.: 01-837468; fax: 01-4527061

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WACC Programme 1997-2001

Communication for Human Dignity

The World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) has launched a new five-year programme Communication for Human Dignity. The programme is, in part, based on experiences gained at two international events: the conference on Women Empowering Communication in Thailand in 1994 (See Culturelink no. 11/November 1993, p. 79.) and the second World Congress in Mexico in 1995. (See Culturelink no. 13/August 1994, p. 85.)

The programme covers six areas:

  1. The Search for Common Values
    Agreement on basic moral values is essential if people are to overcome racial, cultural and religious differences, the source of so much violence and hatred today. WACC plans to highlight this need and to work for consensus on the values that should underlie all communication activities.
  2. The Globalization of Poverty
    WACC aims to explore the relationship between communication technologies and the global economy, and to help people to use media for life-enhancing aims. This includes confronting issues related to deregulation, privatisation, the power of media monopolies, and the growth of the information superhighway.
  3. Indigenous Peoples and Marginalized Groups
    By building close links with a number of indigenous communities, WACC will support efforts to safeguard and share their communication traditions and try to integrate indigenous values into WACC's life and work. The aim is also to help socially marginalised people - such as those with disabilities, refugees and migrants - whose communication needs are ignored.
  4. Women's Programme
    The programme will build on work already accomplished with women and offer them practical solidarity in their efforts to share experiences and make their voices heard.
  5. Communication Education
    WACC offers scholarships and training opportunities for people from the grassroots upwards, with particular emphasis on leadership training.
  6. Networking
    Networking is vital because WACC wants to share its vision of communication for human dignity with the broadest possible range of ecumenical and non-governmental organizations and to influence their agendas.

The WACC Programme will be implemented through consultations, workshops, activities at local and regional levels, audiovisuals and publications.

For further information, please contact: World Association for Christian Communication (WACC), 357 Kennington Lane, London SE11 5QY, United Kingdom, tel.: (171) 582 9139; fax: (171) 735 0340; e-mail: wacc@gn.apc.org; WWW: http://www.oneworld.org/wacc

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Youth Campaign against Intolerance and for the Respect for Life in Africa's Great Lakes Region

In order to combat the tradition of hatred, fear and intolerance, the Martin Luther King International Centre (MLKIC) intends to organize a Campaign against Intolerance and for the Respect for Life in conjunction with other such organizations in Africa's Great Lakes region from October 1997 to December 1998. The purpose of the Campaign will be to rally public opinion in favour of a tolerant society, based on equal dignity for everyone. The main aim will be to encourage young people to think about and take action against intolerance. It will also enable peaceworkers in the region to meet and work together and to devise joint strategies, activities and confidence-building measures for tackling the structural causes of such conflicts.

The Campaign will focus not only on combating the dissemination of ethnic ideologies, xenophobia and intolerance but also on promoting ideas of tolerance, equality and the protection of life and human rights. The purpose of the Campaign is to stir all sectors of civil society in the region (Rwanda, Burundi, Zaire, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda) to action and to link this initiative with other international initiatives such as the European Year against Racism or the European Youth Campaign against Racism, Xenophobia, Anti-Semitism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe. The Campaign also aims to stir public opinion in Africa and throughout the world; encourage young people to take an active part in fight against intolerance; rally the media against growing hatred; encourage the elaboration of teaching material and study programmes; influence formal education by drawing on the lessons learned in the course of informal activities; promote intercultural learning processes; encourage ideas on how to remedy the social and economic marginalization of young people; create an impact in all sectors involved in education for tolerance; and change the morbid and pessimistic image of Africa's Great Lakes region portrayed by the media around the world.

The Campaign will be officially launched in October 1997 with three main events: Human Rights Week (December 1997), International Conference on Combating Intolerance (April 1998), and Youth Week with workshops on Youth and Conflict Resolution, Youth and Social Exclusion and an International Concert (July 1998).

To obtain more information, please contact: International Martin Luther King Centre, BP 2994, Remera Kigali, Rwanda, tel./fax: (250) 82437 or Europe contact: North-South Centre, Av. da Liberdade, 229-4, P-1250 Lisbon, Portugal; tel.: (351 1) 352 49 54; fax: (351 1) 352 49 66; e-mail: nscentre@mail.telepac.pt

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The Research Project on The School Curriculum and the Croatian Cultural Characteristics

After completing the theoretical and empirical research project on Genealogy and Transfer of Models of Interculturalism (1991-1995), a group of scholars from the Department of Pedagogy of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb (Croatia), have launched a new project entitled The School Curriculum and the Croatian Cultural Characteristics, financed by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Croatia.

The objective of this project is the description and explanation of the main characteristics of the national culture in Croatian schools and families, as well as the way that these characteristics manifest themselves in the Croatian school curriculum. Its objective is also to extend the general analytical model of the national culture of Croatia in a more appropriate way. An integral part of the project will be empirical research into the attitudes of students, teachers and parents on power, individualism/collectivism, femininity/masculinity, (un)certainty, and social distance. The planned duration of the project is three years.

The project will have three priorities: (a) improvement of the knowledge about the curriculum, education and family, (b) development of the knowledge about the Croatian school, culture and society, and (c) building up of multicultural knowledge and competencies for a number of experts of different profiles. The results are expected to be applicable in several areas: (a) humanities and social sciences and school subjects in Croatia and abroad, dealing with research on the topics of multiculturalism and modern curriculum, (b) gaining basic knowledge about the contemporary Croatian school, social setting and national culture, (c) creating prerequisites for the contents of education that would correspond to the European curriculum of civic education, and (d) constituting and developing ideas and practice of multiculturalism in Croatia.

The project on The School Curriculum and the Croatian Cultural Characteristics will be realized in cooperation with similar national, bilateral and multilateral research projects.

For further information, please contact: Prof. Vlatko Previsic, project leader, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Pedagogy, I. Lucica 3, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia; tel.: 385 1 6120 165, 6120 167; fax: 385 1 6156 880

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Graduate Winter School - Recent Developments in Cultural and Media Policy

The Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy (CMP) holds an annual graduate residential Winter School at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. In 1997 the Winter School was held from 8-11 July. Aimed at postgraduate students, junior academics and degree-holders employed in cultural and media institutions and government policy agencies, the Winter School consisted of three and a half days of intensive seminars and workshops run by leading Australian academics and industry professionals.

The topics included the following: public policy and cultural policy, Asian media, the Internet and intellectual property, regional arts developments, cultural statistics, politics and policies of indigenous heritage, and film policy.

For more information, please contact: Ms. Karen Perkins, Manager, Australian Key Centre for Cultural and Media Policy, Faculty of Humanities, Griffith University, Nathan 4111, Australia, tel.: (07) 3875 5350; e-mail: K.Perkins@hum.gu.edu.au, or
Dr. Frances Bonner, Graduate Winter School Convenor; tel.: (07) 3365 1438; e-mail: F.Bonner@mailbox.uq.oz.au

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Roehampton Institute London

Diploma in Arts Management

A one year part-time programme on two evenings per week, from February 1998 to January 1999. The programme provides comprehensive coverage of the skills needed by Arts Managers, particularly Marketing, Finance and Law. In addition, experienced administrators with expertise in different areas of the arts lecture on:

  • funding
  • arts policy
  • administration of specific art forms.

For further information and an application form contact: Robert Henry, Department of Drama & Theatre Studies, Roehampton Institute London, Digby Stuart College, Roehampton Lane, London SW15 5PH, England, tel.: 0181-392-3269

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ICCM Cultural Management Programmes

Situated in the highly-cultured city of Salzburg, Austria, ICCM offers numerous training opportunities in the arts and media.

Internationally-acclaimed experts are drawn from across the world to cover lectures on every aspect of cultural management.

European Management Programme for the Arts and Media

  • Course lasts 4-6 semesters
  • Part-time, with seminar attendance at weekends
  • Entrance requirements subject to experience and qualifications
  • COURSE LANGUAGE: German & English
    INTAKE: October 1997

International Class: Master in Arts and Media Management

  • Postgraduate
  • Full-time with a duration of 18 months, including a six-month internship
  • COURSE LANGUAGE: English
    INTAKE: October 1998

For more information please contact: ICCM, International Centre for Culture & Management, Simone Wesner, Jakob-Haringer-Str. 5a, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria; tel.: +43/662/459841; fax: + 43/662/459838; e-mail: wesner@iccm.co.at

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The Cultural Institute of Macao: Research Scholarships

The Cultural Institute of Macao (ICM) helps to define and execute the Territory's cultural policy and scientific research through the promotion of Sino-Portuguese cultural exchanges. For this purpose, the Institute grants Research Scholarships to encourage scientific research in particular studies concerning Macao and the Sino-Portuguese relations. In the academic year 1997/98, scholarship will be given for the following areas:

  • History
  • Literary Studies
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology

The potential applicants must satisfy certain requirements.

To obtain more information, please contact: Instituto Cultural de Macau, Studies, Research and Publications Division, Rua Pedro Coutinho, 27, Queens Court Bldg. 2 F1. F, Macau, tel.: (853) 591977 / 593423; fax: (853) 529242.

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The Drama Review

A special issue of The Drama Review (TDR) will be published in 1998 to celebrate the 100th birthday of Bertolt Brecht. Articles about all aspects of Brecht's work - playwriting, directing, political work, and personal life - are being solicited. The journal is particularly interested in Brecht in the Third World and new interpretations or new critical approaches to his plays. Essays and other items may be submitted in English, German, or other languages. All manuscripts received by 1 September 1997 will be considered. For particulars and the TDR's Writers' Guidelines, write to: Richard Schechner at the TDR, or e-mail him at schechnr@acf2.nyu.edu, or
Dr. Susanne Winnacker at the Institute for the Media and Theater, Goethe University, 5 Dantestrasse, D-60325, Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany; e-mail: winnacker@tfm.uni-frankfurt.de

(Source: ITI of US Newsletter, no. 24/1997)

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World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre Project

Following the publication of the first two volumes of the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre Project (WECT) on Europe and the USA, the third volume of the six-volume encyclopedia is now available. The general editors are Ousmane Diakhat‚ (Senegal) and Hansel Ndumbe Eyoh (Cameroon). From Angola to Zimbabwe, the volume presents for the first time in this comprehensive fashion the contemporary theatre culture of twenty-three African nations in as many articles. Special essays by renowned authors provide the necessary contextualisation.

The volume does not include the Arab parts of Africa, which will be covered by volume four.
The text is illustrated with over ninety black and white photos.

The World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre (WECT) is a joint project of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the International Federation of Theatre Research (FIRT), the International Society of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts (SIBMAS), and the International Association of Theatre Critics (IACT). Additional support was provided by UNESCO and the World Decade for Cultural Development.

Volume 4 The Arab World, Volume 5 Australia Oceania, and Volume 6 Index and Bibliography will round up the edition.

For more information, please contact: Derell Carey, Routledge, 11 New Fetter Lane, London, EC4P 4EE, England; tel.: +44 171 583 98 55; fax: +44 171 842 2306