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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.26/November 1998 - contents - imprint - archive

Call for Co-operation in the Culturgrams Project

Each year, the Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University (See Culturelink no. 24/April 1998, pp. 33-36.) publishes a series of educational guides entitled Culturgrams. These short documents are designed to introduce the readers, mostly in the United States, to the basic living patterns and daily culture of other nations. The general lack of international knowledge among the American students has made our project all the more vital in the past several years. Our association with the Culturelink Network has led to the development of new texts (Croatia, Malta, and others) and the revision of several existing texts (England, Sweden, Argentina, Greece, and others) over the past few years.

We would like to invite our fellow Culturelink members to lend us their expertise and insight by commenting on some of our existing texts in the series or applying to write a new text. We pay a small courtesy fee to project participants. It may range anywhere from US$75 to US$650, depending on what each individual does on the project. Most areas of the world require some input. Full-time residents of the target nation who hold a university degree and can write fluently in English are eligible to apply.

For more detailed information, please send an e-mail message to Susan Sims (culturgram@aol.com) or Lisa Ralph (cg_review@byu.edu). You may also write to us at Brigham Young University, PO Box 24538, Provo, Utah 84602-4538, USA. Please send your initial inquiry no later than 30 January 1999.

Project participants are selected from a pool of interested and qualified individuals. They receive additional instructions and materials, as well as a sample from the series. We look forward to hearing from more Culturelink members!

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Contemporary Studies of Culture Policy in Uzbekistan

by Bakhadir Abdurakhimov, Deputy Minister of Culture

Independence opened wide prospects for the development of Uzbekistan's economy and for the revival of national culture of its peoples. 'Since the early days of our independence the most important task, raised on the state policy level, has been the revival of the great, invaluable spiritual and cultural heritage created by our ancestors over many centuries. A society cannot hope to prosper without the development and strengthening of the cultural potential, spiritual and moral values in the people's consciousness,' said Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In Uzbekistan, the state considers the preservation and development of cultural values and their association with the universal achievements of culture and arts as one of its highest priorities.

There are numerous historical projects aimed to re-establish the true history of the country; equally, there is the revival of folklore and traditional holidays; contemporary study of great heritage of Central Asian scholars such as Imam Bukhari, At-Termizi, Nakshbandi, Yassavi, Al-Khorezmi, Al-Beruni, Ibn Sino, Ulugbek, Babur; celebration of anniversaries of outstanding personalities and the study of the creative works of Alisher Navoi, Ulugbek, Al-Beruni, Amir Temur; safeguarding and reconstruction of architectural monuments of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva, Shahrisabz and other historical sites of Uzbekistan; celebration of 2500 years of Bukhara and Khiva; organization of international festivals and forums in the fields of cinema, theatre, music (International Film Festival, International Music Festival, etc.).

Learning from foreign experience in the financing of culture in the market economy is a topical task for Uzbekistan at this moment. As a sign of recognition of the acuteness and importance of this issue, UNESCO and the Government of Uzbekistan jointly organized the International Conference on Investing in Culture in the Central Asian Countries in Tashkent in 1997. (See Culturelink no. 23/November 1997, pp. 49-51.) One year later, it is time now to ask what kind of substantial changes have taken place in the Ministry for Cultural Affairs of Uzbekistan (MCAU) to improve the financial position of culture.

The Ministry's priority task last year was to switch some of the sub-divisions of the MCAU to private funding status, which would generate funds from extra-budgetary resources, including investments from the private sector and foreign sponsorships. However, it should be admitted that the state budgetary allocations are still the major source of funding.

The present programme of the National Policy for Culture focuses mainly on the following directions:

Attention to the highly important aspects of cultural life. Certain measures and events play a substantial role in shaping the country's cultural policy. These measures are linked to major historical landmarks (such as the Navruz holiday), whose preparation actively involves efforts for the development and revival of all forms of traditional as well as modern national culture. These measures are financed fully out of the state budget and they make possible the functioning of the country's cultural potential (such as dancing, folklore, etc.) on the level appropriate for the modern world.

The second direction of the National Policy Programme for Culture envisages a partial change of the structure of financing of some sub-divisions of the Ministry of Culture with the purpose of their re-orientation towards the market economy. This change in the system of the MCAU will require great efforts to achieve the replacement of the former models of funding.

The Academy of Arts (AA) has emerged from the MCAU as an independent cultural body. It was established on the basis of the former Research Institute of Fine Arts, the National Institute of Arts and Design named after Kamaliddin Bekhzod, the Lyc‚e of Fine and Applied Arts, and the Department of Arts Exhibition. It is expected that the AA will get funding from different sources, while the State budget allocations will cover only part of its costs.

The role of the state should be stressed in securing reliable funding not only for cultural performances but also for supporting people involved in the sphere of culture.

In particular, the presidential decree of 20 October 1995 on Measures to Support and Stimulate the Further Development of Theatre and Music Arts in Uzbekistan provides for monthly grants to quality cultural activities.

Other presidential decrees, such as On the Improvement of Music Education and the Activity of Educational Institutions of Culture and Arts in the Republic of Uzbekistan of 31 December 1997 and On the Development of National Dance and Choreographic Arts in Uzbekistan of 8 January 1997, create, along with material support from the state budget, new prerequisites for a reorganization of cultural life in Uzbekistan. The purpose of such acts is to adapt cultural institutions to the new market economy conditions and to search for new ways of getting additional investments.

In accordance with the presidential decree issued on 23 January 1997, the AA and its sub-divisions are exempted from state taxation for 5 years. This means that in the meantime the mechanism of transition to the market economy must be created in the country. Certainly, there are numerous problems facing the AA in the period of transition. There is a need to establish a legal framework and acquire the necessary administrative knowledge for the survival of the AA under the conditions of the 'mixed' market economy. Provision of external support for artists is not practised in Uzbekistan. At the present time, the private sector is not strong enough yet to support the great number of young and promising artists. However, there is a need for extra-budgetary financial support from international funds and non-governmental organizations in order to provide financial assistance to the AA. The Government is considering the idea of setting up representatives of the AA's sub-divisions in different parts of the country and abroad as one of the ways of improving their financial status. This presupposes the availability of competitive products and valuable artistic works and their export, coupled with the precise elaboration of the standards of payment for creative activity. All these measures should somehow solve the problem of self-financing.

The theatre-performing arts in Uzbekistan are trying novel approaches to support their financial self-reliance after the adoption of the new economic programme. Despite the prevalence of non-profit institutions, certain attempts have been made to privatize some cultural establishments. However, most of the activity in the sphere of culture is based on the law which treats theatre-performing institutions as state establishments. A few theatre-performing collectives and associations have taken some serious steps to elaborate new forms of financing. They follow the example of 'Uzbeknavo' and 'Uzbekraks', which are working on the same principles. The experience of 'Uzbeknavo', in particular needs to be analyzed in this regard. One should take into account the cultural specificities and traditions of each of its regional sub-divisions.

The 'Uzbektheatre' Association is in the process of formation and there is a problem of a more precise definition of the role of the State in supporting the theatre-performing arts, as well as the development of different forms of theatre funding on regional levels. The important questions, such as how and on what level the cultural authorities should assist with permanent financial support and which forms of self-financing are acceptable at present, will be the subject of further study. There is a need to learn from the experience of other states which have been through similar development in the process of formation of theatre-performing arts.

One of the forms of self-financing is sponsorship. In the present economic conditions of theatres, when each contribution is valuable, sponsorship is of a particular interest. The existing experience on sponsorship shows that small and regional (provincial and district) theatre collectives are not getting enough attention. Major business companies prefer to deal with prestigious and well-known theatre groups. The best example of such behaviour is the assistance given by foreign companies to the Academic theatre named after Navoi. It is obvious that businessmen make donations in order to publicize their own companies and products. There have been cases of well-known theatre collectives, like 'Ilhom' and 'Young Spectators Theatre', using their name and reputation to get foreign sponsorship assistance. Other theatre collectives look for the sources of extra-budgetary resources, but they do not always get positive responses. The factor hindering such investment is the present law on taxation, which does not stimulate sponsorship.

The State provides subsidies to specialized cultural projects in Uzbekistan. The International Music Festival 'Sharq Taronalari' belongs among such projects. Having organized major cultural holidays like 'Navruz', 'Mustakillik' and the Anniversary of Amir Temur, we have gained some experience with the organization and funding of such wide-scale events. The First International Music Festival 'Sharq Taronalari', which took place in Samarkand under UNESCO's auspices with the participation of representatives from all continents, was an indication of the growing prestige of musical culture in Uzbekistan. It stimulated cultural pluralism as well as the revival of traditional ethnic and folklore roots. However, the organizers of such major performing events face difficulties in obtaining extra-budgetary funds and foreign sponsorship. The State budgetary allocations covered the main part of the organizational expenditure for the Festival. All organizational tasks were performed by the MCAU. Specialized committees, comprising professional specialists, elaborated programmes, put forward recommendations and calculated the amount of money allocated for each activity. The Music Festival earned favourable comments from the local authorities, which also covered part of the expenditure. This fact proves once again that they give priority to hosting such major cultural events.

In the course of preparation of the International Music Festival 'Sharq Taronalari', it was proposed to create an association of sponsors for the festival, which could include sponsors from Uzbekistan and from foreign countries. The amount of their financial assistance is not large in comparison with the State subsidies. This shows that it is necessary to institutionalize sponsorships, which could support arts more effectively by voluntary donations.

There are elaborated documents concerning policies in the field of museums in Uzbekistan. The National Committee of Uzbekistan for ICOM was created in Uzbekistan and is functioning. The creation of the National Committee for ICOM was approved at the 88th session of the Executive Board of ICOM. Uzbekistan's museums have in their holdings exhibits of exceptional importance, reflecting the development of the world civilization. We need to learn how to attract foreign investments to improve the exhibitions of our museums. The experience of the Amir Temur museum shows the correctness of the priority direction. Nevertheless, the main question, possible provision of additional subsidies, remains unsolved. The first undertaken step - offering additional payment for working in museums and libraries and organizing moving exhibitions - has proved to be insufficient. The elaboration and implementation of mutually accepted agreements on cooperation between museums, artists and consumers, as well as the government, should be regarded as priority measures. These should increase non-state subsidies with the assistance of organizations and companies and private business interests in the cultural sector.

The celebrations of the 2,500th anniversaries of Bukhara and Khiva cities should be major national actions. The Government has allocated substantial resources for the preparatory activities for these events. The works related to the restoration and conservation of historical sites, squares and communication systems will cost billions. The restoration of culturally unique historical cities will boost the development of cultural tourism. The interdependence of tourism and other spheres of culture is increasing at present. If during the Soviet regime cultural tourism was one of the ways of generating foreign exchange, it is now regarded as part of the financial support for the culture of Uzbekistan. International organizations, including UNESCO, pay special attention to investments in the field of tourism and restoration of cultural monuments of Bukhara, Samarkand, Khiva and Shakhrisyabz. Most historical buildings in these cities are regarded as treasures of the world civilization.

International investors have announced their readiness for all possible forms of financing of restoration works in historical-cultural zones of the cities with the purpose of developing the cultural industries. In particular, the Agakhan Fund twice contributed subsidies for projects of restoration of important cultural sites in Samarkand and Bukhara. In accordance with the agreement between UNESCO and the MCAU, US$42,000 was extended for the restoration of the Chor-Minor Medrassa in 1997. At the initiative of UNESCO, a programme has been designed to attract foreign investors to take part in restoration projects for eminent architectural monuments in Uzbekistan. However, these efforts were not enough to meet the present challenges. State authorities and local administrations took some serious steps to tackle these problems. The allocated funds covered only part of the activities. There is still hope to get international assistance, since these activities have been well publicized internationally.

Tourism is regarded as part of the Economic Development Programme. One of the initiatives of the MCAU is to establish a link between the tourism policy and the Economic Development Programme, as well as to popularize cultural programmes. At present, the tourist industry has a tendency of dynamic growth when it can rely on good services in historical cities. This is an obvious and effective way of getting additional financial resources. Looking for investments, as well as marketing projects in the field of culture, will also promote cultural services.

The next problem faced by the sector of culture in Uzbekistan is the shortage of specialists with a good knowledge of modern management. These are specialists-managers who should be aware of the ways of effective management of the cultural sector in the transitional period. The experience of several countries suggests that well-trained managers express an interest in new ideas and technologies, that they are capable of mobilizing resources, can take risks, and have a desire to overcome financial difficulties. In the present situation such knowledge is of crucial importance. Particularly, there is a great need for managers capable of solving the economic problems of provincial and regional cultural institutions.

There is a need for help from UNESCO in training highly qualified managers for cultural institutions and conducting educational seminars. This would make possible the training of operative managers of cultural institutions in the methods and strategies acceptable under the new conditions.

In conclusion, we should focus not only on problems facing the MCAU in the period of transition, but also on the achievements. These achievements are real and merit appreciation.

For more information, please contact: National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO, 54, Buyuk Ipak Yuli, Tashkent, 700137 Uzbekistan, tel.: (7-3712) 670.542/670.549/670.561; fax: (7-3712) 670.538 / 670.546; e-mail: UNESCO@natcom.org.uz

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Asia Urbs

The European Commission has recently launched Asia Urbs, a new programme designed to promote decentralised cooperation between Europe and Asia.

Contact: Asia Urbs Secretariat, Avenue Marie Jos‚ 44b, 1200 Brussels, Belgium, tel.: (32) 2 732 87 94; fax: (32) 2 732 87 07; e-mail: secretariat@asia-urbs.com

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Project on the Statistical Compendium on the Arts and Culture in Finland

The aim of the project is to create a framework for cultural statistics in Finland and to compile a pilot publication scheduled for release in January 1999. The planning is undertaken in close contact with the arts administration and the organisations and institutions in the field. The EU harmonisation work on cultural statistics is also covered. The Cultstat covers the traditional arts and the cultural industries (production, consumption, distribution, etc.). Particular areas of interest include recent trends in employment and training in the arts and culture. An additional key topic is the economic impact of culture and the arts.

For more information, please contact: Sari Karttunen, Statistics Finland, Culture and the Media, SF-00022 Helsinki, Finland, tel.: 358 9 1734 3438; fax: 358 9 1734 3264; e-mail: sari.karttunen@stat.fi

(Source: Circular no. 8 New Series/1998)

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Information on Artists II

A study of artists' work-related human and social service needs

As a follow-up on its 1988 national study of individual artists entitled Information on Artists (IOA-I), the Research Center for Arts and Culture of the Columbia University School of the Arts has now updated the study of artists' work-related human and social needs in four of the original ten U.S. locations - Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and New York. Surveying artists, administrators, funders, policy makers and sympathizers, the study offers information on the situation of the individual artist living and working in the United States, his or her income, education, time spent on work, professional affiliations, health care needs, pension, welfare, credit, live/work space, insurance, legal and financial needs.

The purpose of the study is to provide a comparative benchmark on the artists' condition in the United States from 1988 to 1997, to better describe artists in terms of their economic and professional status, and to cooperate with local arts and artists' service agencies to make the information gathered usable and useful to them.

The results of the study surveying 7,700 artists are published in an abstract entitled Information on Artists 2, comprising an ongoing part of the only systematic information gathering on living artists, studies, support mechanisms, meetings and publications.

For more information, please contact: Joan Jeffri, Director, Research Center for Arts and Culture, Columbia University, School of the Arts, 2960 Broadway, Mail Code 1809, New York, NY 10027, USA, tel.: (212) 678-3271, 854-5869; fax: (212) 678-4048; e-mail: rcac@columbia.edu

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Project of the Cultural Atlas of Africa

With reference to the programmes of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and UNESCO concerning 'Education on African unity and promotion of integration', 'The culture of peace' and 'Universal ethics', the Council of Ministers of the OAU has recommended the realisation of two complementary projects: The Cultural Atlas of Africa and The Pan-African Manual of Civic and Moral Education. These two projects aim at constituting a common basis of ideas and values stimulating integration, social cohesion, participation in public life and in development initiatives.

The Cultural Atlas of Africa

Since the Africans have partial and sometimes even biassed knowledge of their common history and heritage, this project aims to gather in a single publication the most remarkable aspects of African culture and evidence of African contribution to the living culture of humanity. The objective of this publication is to -

  • give an introduction to African culture and to promote better the historical, cultural and human heritage of Africa;
  • to reconcile young people with their history and culture and to give them a sense of historical continuity as well as a basis for the unity of the African cultural spaces;
  • to provide the Africans with points of comparison (similarities, differences, complementarity, exchanges) but also with landmarks of their collective identity;
  • to provide the Africans with the means to confront the globalisation and to participate in it.

The Pan-African Manual of Civic and Moral Education

The objective of the planned manual is to give to young Africans the notions which would eventually enable them to become responsible citizens, familiar with their duties and rights. Having in mind the differences between countries, it is planned to include in the contents such notions as respect due to the family, democracy, human rights, tolerance, respect of minorities, sense for the State and public good, sense of justice and equality, culture of peace, etc.

For more information, please contact: OAU, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, P.O. Box 3243, tel.: 517 700.

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Arts Council of England (ACE) Report

The Arts Council of England (ACE) has published a report comparing international arts expenditure in 11 countries. The report consists of a series of national profiles of the structure of the arts in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, the USA, and the UK, and covers the expenditure period from 1993 to 1995. The research examines the levels of direct expenditure on the arts and museums by national, local, and regional governments and includes trends in public spending.

For further information, please contact Caroline Leech on 01719736459.

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Apollonia Project

Premier parcours: Aspects de la culture contemporaine en République Tchèque

The Apollonia project was conceived to make up for the lack of information about contemporary art in Eastern Europe and to encourage the participation of artists in important projects in the European cultural space. Hence it proposes the creation of a new European platform for artistic exchange.

Apollonia's first itinerary deals with contemporary art in the Czech Republic. The event will take place at La Filature de Mulhouse, at CRAC Alsace d'Altkirch and at La Laiterie - Centre Européen de la Jeune Création - in Strasbourg, from September 1998 to January 1999. It offers a significant panorama of young Czech creative art as well as presentations of renowned artists who marked the history of Czech and European art.

In issue no. 16/1998, La lettre de la laiterie announces the opening of a new theatre venue - Théâtre des Lisières, a new space for theatre diffusion, reflection and information about frontiers, conflicts and confrontations of our time.

Contact: La Laiterie - Centre Europ‚en de la Jeune Création, 11 rue du Hohwald, F-67000 Strasbourg, France, tel.: +33 (0) 3 88 75 10 05; fax: +33 (0) 3 88 75 58 78; e-mail: apollonia@media-net.fr

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Training courses at the Institut d'Etudes Supérieures des Arts (IESA)

The Département Techniques Théâtrales of the Institut d'Etudes Supérieures des Arts (IESA) in Paris organizes training courses in the field of theatre in the enterprise, an innovative pedagogical method which stages the individual in his or her everyday professional environment, developing a relaxed and sociable atmosphere. Through improvisation and representation, the courses aim to get a person to know himself or herself better, to listen to others actively, to develop self-expression and understanding of one's social environment, to adapt to one's workplace and the enterprise. Since 1985, the IESA's 250 experts have trained over 650 persons annually in the field of culture, heritage and multimedia.

For more information, please contact: Institut d'Etudes Supérieures des Arts (IESA), Département Techniques Théâtrales, IESA, 5 avenue de l'Opéra, 75001 Paris, France, tel.: 01 42 86 57 01; fax: 01 42 86 57 03; e-mail: iesa@jca.fr; WWW: http://www.iesa.jca.com/

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The University of East London,
Department of Art and Design


Master of Art/Postgraduate Diploma in Visual Theories
One year full-time or two years part-time

Doctorate in Fine Art
Three years full-time or five years part-time

Master in Art/Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art
One year full-time or two years part-time

For more information, please contact: Mrs. Beryl Watson, Greengate House, Greengate Street, Plaistow, London E13 0BG, UK; tel.: 44.181.5907700/7722 or e-mail: B.Watson@uel.ac.uk

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Imaginary Academy: From Education to Creation

Imaginary Academy is an institution of advanced education, designed for post-graduate studies and practical work of young professionals in all fields of film, multimedia and performing arts. It has been jointly developed and organized by the Centre for Drama Art, Zagreb, Academy of Drama Art, Zagreb, and Ohio University , Athens, Ohio. The Academy is located in Gro`njan, one of the most beautiful old towns in the heart of Istria, the largest Croatian peninsula. The training programme includes seminars and lectures whose purpose is to develop a film or multimedia project through all the stages, from the modern script writing, production, implementation of the project, and its public presentation. Initially designed for students from Central and Eastern European countries, in which the film production practically collapsed in the early nineties, the Imaginary Academy is now on its way to become a Mediterranean film and multimedia college.

Specialized seminars are devoted to script writing under the tutorship of some well-known script writer, making of a documentary film that deals with life in Istria, a workshop in which a film project is developed from the finished script to the final production package, and a multimedia workshop gathering a group of young people who are working on a CD ROM covering the architectural landmarks of Istria. For the next three years the following projects are planned: establishment of the Environmental Theatre, establishment of a network of prominent European theatre magazines, called 'Nettheatre', and playing and directing monologues, based on the monologues by the famous Flemish writer and theatre director Jan Fabre.

So far, students from eight countries have participated in the educational and production programmes of the Imaginary Academy, working with about 40 eminent tutors. In the future the Academy plans to expand its programmes to include script writing, production, making documentaries and multimedia projects.

For more information, please contact: Imaginary Academy, Hebrangova 21, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia, tel.: 385 1 48 56 455; fax: 385 1 48 56 459; e-mail: imaginarna-akademija@iod.tel.hr; WWW: http://www.imaginaryacademy.com/

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ADRI Discussion Forum

Since its inception in 1977 under the auspices of the Ministry of Social Affairs, l'Agence pour le D‚veloppement des Relations Interculturelles (ADRI) has worked to promote the integration of immigrant communities in France and the harmonious development of relations between native and foreign populations.

As part of the Rencontres des cultures urbaines de la Villette, taking place between 1 October and 1 November 1998, ADRI is experimentally launching a Discussion Forum at its ADRI Int‚gration Web Site (http://www.adri.asso.fr/).

The Forum (http://www.adri.asso.fr:591/forum/) is open to all city and integration actors: associations, resource and training centres, public service and local actors, decision makers and project developers, allowing for the exchange of views, announcements of projects and initiatives and solicitation of information related to the city and integration (contacts, documents, events, etc.).

Contact: ADRI, 4 rue Ren‚ Villerme, 75011 Paris, France, tel.: (33 1) 40 09 69 20; fax: (33 1) 43 48 25 17; e-mail: luc.gruson@adri.asso.fr; WWW: http://www.adri.asso.fr:591/forum/

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The Cuscatlán Charter

The following charter is the final declaration hammered out at the end of the Agencia Latinomericana de Información - ALAI's International Forum on Communication and Citizenship, held in San Salvador, 9-11 September 1998.

Within the framework of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we have met in El Salvador for the International Forum: Communication and Citizenship, to reaffirm the right to communicate as a necessary precondition for the construction of a democracy based on ethnic-racial diversity and equity between women and men that promotes justice and human dignity.

The contemporary world is characterized by the development of technologies that make universal communication possible. Nonetheless, these technologies are concentrated in the same groups that control economic and political power and hegemonize the media globally. This results in selective exclusion from human development of a large percentage of the planet's population.

The dominance of the market and the dogma of profit pave the way for the expansion of monopolistic capital. This in turn is choking alternative and community media, as well as small and medium communication enterprises.

The dominant trends are those that subordinate the social character of communication to economic power and counter one of the most important conquests of humanity - the right to information and freedom of expression, the full exercise of which requires plurality of sources and of media and their democratic and transparent management.

The market economy has imposed the domination of economic factors over political ones, with the result that men and women are considered only as consumers and not as people with rights to the full exercise of citizenship.

It is a universally accepted criterion that democracy is strengthened by citizens' participation. Such participation requires that the different sectors that make up society should be both adequately informed and capable of producing their own media, so as to generate communicational processes that contribute to the strengthening and development of social movements. Moreover, this means that the local, regional and national media should prioritize quality in form and content, giving visibility to the important matters that determine the daily life of citizens.

This implies that civil society should participate in the distribution of the radio frequency spectrum, in access to satellite band waves, in the use of new technologies, and in running alternative media; that indigenous peoples can set up their own media in their own languages, among other things.

We therefore adhere to the commitments made by different international conferences, such as Bangkok (1994), Toronto, Beijing (1995), and we support the petition to the United Nations formulated in the 'Vienna + 5 Forum' to convene a World Conference on Communication, guaranteeing a broad participation of citizens, with the mandate to analyse and defend the Right to Communicate, for the true consolidation of our democracies.

Similarly, we join the initiative that has emerged from the People's Communication Charter, to hold a World Congress on Media and Communication, with the purpose of consolidating a global social movement to challenge the new orthodoxy of market dominance in the field of communication.

Stating our commitment to the full exercise of the right to citizenship, which has motivated our presence in this Forum, we assume the responsibility of supporting and contributing to the development of a broad civic movement for the democratization of communication.

Contact: Agencia Latinoamericana de Información, info@alai.ecuanex.net.ec