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Editorial Note

Culturelink review, no.31/August 2000 - contents - imprint - archive

Redefining Cultural Identities

The most important event in the activities of the Culturelink Network this year is undoubtedly the project Redefining Cultural Identities: The Multicultural Contexts of the Central European and Mediterranean Regions and a course which was held within the project in Dubrovnik in May 2000.

The programme of the course encompassed some aspects of the specialized policies (cultural, mass media, educational, and language) that directly influence the redefinition of cultural identities in the Central European and Mediterranean Regions. The course demonstrated that it is necessary to analyze and discuss the dynamic change of cultural identities in these regions - not only in the global, "postmodernist" situation, but also in the context of cultural variety and cultural differences that should be managed in an overall democratic and modernizing context.

There are a number of projects dealing with cultural identity and multiculturalism in different parts of the world, as witnessed by the various cultural knowledge bases. One such project is presented in this issue: it is the Canadian Culture in the Twenty-First Century. Factors such as globalisation, free trade, regional and cultural relationships, and the increasing multicultural and multiracial nature of Canadian society, along with other factors, are bound to impact the vision of the future. A senior symposium dealing with these questions was organized by the Milliken Mills High School, Markham, Ontario, and this experience can be useful outside the national/Canadian boundaries as literally all countries in the world are challenged, to varying degrees, with a similar problem of cultural identity and diversity.

The same subject is treated in the book Governance of Cultural Diversity, edited by Janina Dacyl and Charles Westin, a selection of essays on cultural diversity creation and dynamics, diversity perception and categorisation, and multiculturalism, diversity management and governance, which represents a valuable resource for cultural and cultural policy researchers.

Numerous conferences presented here, as well as the documentation, cover the same ground. We can only hope that all this will lead to a dialogue of cultures, such as is envisaged for the First Universal Forum of Cultures to be held in Barcelona in the year 2004. It is an attempt to respond to the challenge posed by the globalisation; it is also a contribution to the principles of tolerance and the culture of peace promoted by UNESCO. The Forum hopes to provide an opportunity to show the world the best of each culture, to learn from each other, and to pool together everything that favours solidarity, human rights and sustainable development.

Our Dossier continues the topic of the last issue, namely, defining the needs, assessing the methods, and designing new tools, within UNESCO's workshop on Cultural Policies for Development. This time the focus is on language diversity in Africa and on cultural factors that shape governance in the South-East Asia sub-region.

As usual, we invite you to contribute your research findings, analyses and comments to the future issues of Culturelink.

Biserka Cvjetičanin