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Research and Programmes

Culturelink review, no.41/November 2003 - contents - imprint - archive

The Sahara of Cultures and Men

Towards a strategy for the sustainable development of tourism in the Sahara in the context of combating poverty 2004-2005

The Sahara of Cultures and Men is the partnership project of the Member States concerned, UN agencies (WTO, UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF), ALECSO, BITS, etc., Foundation Déserts du monde, Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel, Barth Institute, Desert Research Centre, Scientific Intergovernmental Programmes of UNESCO - MAB and MOST, tour operators, tourism offices, associations, IGOs, NGOs, etc.

The Sahara, a common space belonging to ten States - Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia - is characterized by a rich cultural, human and natural wealth, and a great fragility. This includes the cave paintings, Ksour and old cities, traditional music, a unique tangible and intangible heritage, magnificent landscapes ranging from dunes and mountains to oases, and a rare and diverse flora and fauna. This heritage is threatened by modified ways of life, urbanization and desertification, among others, and requires increased attention and measures to safeguard and manage it appropriately.

Therefore, the objectives of the project are to preserve the Saharan cultural and natural heritage for future generations; to promote tourism as a tool in the struggle against poverty; to encourage economically efficient tourism policies, which are respectful of heritage; to encourage the participation of the Saharan population in the development of tourism; and to reinforce cooperation among the Saharan States.

The project was launched in April 2002. The strategy was finalized in 2003 and the Action Plan is to be further elaborated in 2004/2005. The project actions concern prospective studies, training courses, workshops, support for micro-credits and cooperatives, support for creativity (particularly through desert festivals), safeguarding and enhancing the natural and tangible cultural heritage through the development and promotion of innovative trans-frontier cultural circuits, safeguarding and enhancing the intangible heritage, identification and preparation of site nominations for the World Heritage List, improvement of preventive work and management of risks, and enhancement of cooperation among the States.

The project takes a holistic view, with an ethical dimension, and proposes an anticipatory approach in order to consider complex development issues before they become too difficult to resolve. It conceives tourism as a means of preserving cultural diversity, heritage and knowledge of Saharan cultures and civilizations in order to stimulate the local economy. In this way, tourism can be a tool in cultural activities, agriculture, herding, handicrafts, communication and transport activities. Thus conceived, tourism can stimulate dialogue between cultures and promote respect for differences, human dignity and peace.

To find out more, please contact: UNESCO, Mr. Herv‚ Barr‚, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural Dialogue, Section of Culture and Development, 1, rue Miollis, 75732 Paris Cedex 15, France, e-mail: sahara@unesco.org; http://www.unesco.org/culture

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The South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA)

The South African National Cultural Heritage Training and Technology Programme was launched in 2000. This project is a multi-faceted, three-year, binational, collaborative training programme designed to identify and train a cadre of archivists, curators, scholars and students to use new media and best professional practices to work on cultural heritage projects in South Africa.

For more information, please contact: info@sahra.org.za; http://www.sahra.org.za

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SEAS - A Baltic-Adriatic Adventure

SEAS is a pan-European project that unites artists from the Adriatic and the Baltic Sea. The project brings together experience and expression from different regions and coasts. It is an artistic platform developed in part by artists themselves.

Pairs of artists have been sent to explore a previously unknown harbour or port city. New collaborations amongst artists, as well as new ideas to develop site-specific artistic projects, emerge as a result.

SEAS: Phase I - Research & Development arrives in its final stage.

  • A separate piece of art is created containing the artistic vision in an easy-to-present package, SEAS Box I.
  • A series of co-productions are developed involving artistic discovery and documentation.

SEAS: Phase II will be developed.

  • Together with the partners, the co-productions will be presented in harbour cities throughout Europe (2004-2005). The co-productions will be part of the larger framework of SEAS.

SEAS: Phase III - Distribution begins in Gdansk, Poland, in the autumn of 2004.

  • SEAS Box II, a tool for trans-national production work intended for use by European producers and creators in future co-operations and serving as documentation of the production and learning process of SEAS, will be created in the autumn of 2004.


Through its conglomeration of artists, partners and countries, the SEAS project highlights the importance of the European vision. This spectrum of visions is made up of geographic, economic, historic factors and experiences. We all live in Europe, but which Europe? We all adhere to borders - but which borders - historical, practical, or cultural?

Harbour areas/cities are essential to the existence of SEAS, as they are areas of mobility, national borders, immigration, and are often historic landmarks. SEAS adds a cultural dimension to such areas.

Artists from Sweden, Serbia and Montenegro, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Croatia, Macedonia, Latvia, and Russia are involved in this project.


Intercult (Stockholm), the Baltic Sea Culture Centre (Gdansk), Centro Servizi e Spettacolli (Udine), Tranzit Agency (Kaliningrad), Arts Publishing House (Vilnius), Vertigo Productions (Montenegro), Teatro KismetOpera (Bari), Baltic Circle (Helsinki), Art Centre Lazareti (Dubrovnik), Flota (Ljubljana), Bad Co (Zagreb), Hotel ProForma (Copenhagen), Aksioma (Ljubljana).

For more information, please contact: Chris Torch, Intercult, Nytorgsgatan 15, 116 22 Stockholm, Sweden, tel.: +46 8 644 10 23; fax: +46 8 643 96 76; e-mail: info@intercult.se; http://www.intercult.se

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NEA Research Report on Dance

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has finished a new research report, Raising the Barre: The Geographic, Financial, and Economic Trends of Non-profit Dance Companies. Among the developments that the report examines are the growth and decline in the number of dance companies, their geographic concentration, and the generation of earned and unearned income. The report's study period is 1987 to 1997, a period of significant change for dance including the 1990-1991 recession, the end of the 'dance boom,' and the fall in the availability of funding.

For more information, please visit: http://www.arts.gov

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Easy, free and very interesting. These three words may define bookcrossing, probably the karma of literature, or the art of spreading books all over the world, the art of exchange and sharing of culture with other people.

Essentially, BookCrossing is a worldwide book club that keeps track of its books and shares information about them via the Internet. The site is easily navigable, clean-looking and full of great reviews and interesting logs of the places to which books of every description have travelled. There are over 130 countries represented (from Afghanistan to Vietnam, from Canada to Croatia and Qatar) and hundreds of thousands of books in circulation. Members of BookCrossing note where they found the book, what they thought about it, and where they left it. New books donated by members are registered on the website, assigned a number and labelled by a member, and then 'released into the wild.' Each book has a journal, and members can look at where it has been and what happened to it after they released it.

The 3 Rs of BookCrossing are Read, Register, and Release so that others can enjoy these books. BookCrossers register a book by going to the website at www.bookcrossing-spain.com, entering the ISBN number of the book and getting a unique BCID (BookCrossing ID number) which is then written inside the cover (or on the bookmark) together with the website address. Convenient and eye-catching, BookCrossing bookmarks can be printed from the website, making the registration process quick and easy. It's really quite simple, and even if you don't want to give your books away, you can register them at BookCrossing.com to have your very own, free, virtual bookshelf, complete with your personal reviews, to show the world the books you've read. You then pass the book to a friend or, as adventurous BookCrossers do, release it 'into the wild', in public places, on park benches, in coffee shops, in phone booths, in parks, cafés, train stations... wherever the interplay of distance and chance can make things interesting. BookCrossers are fascinated by fate, karma, or whatever you want to call the chain of events that can occur between two or more lives and one piece of literature. More conservative BookCrossers give their books to friends, relatives, or charities, and enjoy reading the resulting journal entries from person to person. New readers can go to the web site to make a journal entry specifying when and where the book was found. The person who originally registered the book is notified by e-mail each time someone records journal entries about it on BookCrossing.com.

In Olesa de Montserrat, a small town of 25,000 people, close to Barcelona, two Argentinian journalists, Fernando Gigena and Barbara Boulocq, recently started this activity. The programme has become a springboard for local and international friendships, as well as a way of spreading literature in all shapes and sizes. Once started, this activity has no deadlines - people release their books whenever and wherever they want.

Many cities, including Barcelona, now have groups of 'bookcrossers', and each group meets on an agreed day for informal and social interaction.

BookCrossers have also set up bookrings, where they send a book to another member to enjoy and review and then pass it on to another person. In Europe, people from several countries have now started writing their own book, in the form of a journal, which is posted or passed on to those who want to take part in writing it.

Real-time statistics on the home page of the web site testify to the success of the initiative: over 49,000 members have registered more than 116,000 books, and both figures grow by about 600 per day. Over 20,000 different web sites link to BookCrossing.com, which receives over 2,000 new visitors each day. The site reckons with 175,000 members a year from now and 500,000 within three years.

For more information, please contact: Fernando Gigena and Barbara Boulocq, c/Argelines 78, 2o 2a (08640) Olesa de Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain; tel.: 0034-93-772-9436; fax: 0034-93-778-5860; e-mail: fernandogigena@hotmail.com; http://www.bookcrossing-spain.com; http://www.bookcrossing.com

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Industrial Heritage Routes

Within the framework of the Industrial Heritage Routes project (See Culturelink no. 38/November 2002, p. 6.) and with the support of the European Commission, initially ten and finally eleven virtual model routes have been developed between June 2002 and June 2003, covering architecture and art and design collections from the industrial period in Europe. The project coordinator was the Textile Forum Service, supported by two co-organisers from archetypal industrial regions in Spain (Terrassa) and Italy (Prato), as well as eight partners from Central and Eastern Europe. They addressed cultural aspects of regional development, making them available to the public in an exemplary way, and invited further textile-industrial regions to join. At the same time, new contacts were made to promote further cooperation with central and eastern European countries.

These new routes are located in Catalonia/Spain, Tuscany/Italy, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Serbia and Georgia. The theme of the new project is to be found not only in the new routes but also in all the 28 routes developed in 20 European countries to date. In addition to this year's thematic focus on 'industrial heritage', the textile route concept includes also five further themes: architectural heritage; important recurrent textile events; textile collections; places of textile production with a cultural dimension; and educational and research institutions in the field of textiles.

The European cultural routes have long been discussed as an integrating factor on a continent that is growing ever closer. This is the first time that they have been systematically prepared for the Internet. The Textile Forum Service and its co-organizers provide virtual travellers with further information, organized by country, such as the forthcoming textile events and addresses of specialists. The ETN's database links the routes with other current events and presents all important addresses in the field of textile culture.

Those who wish to participate have to meet certain conditions, which are also available on the ETN website.

For more information, please contact: Beatrijs Sterk, Project coordinator, Textile Forum Service, P.O. Box 5944, Friedenstr. 5, D-30059 Hannover, Germany, tel.: +49 511 817007; fax: +49 511 813108; e-mail: tfs@ETN-net.org; http://www.ETN-net.org/routes

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Cultural Cooperation in Europe - What role for foundations?

A new study dealing with the foundations' potential to work together to support cultural cooperation in Europe is now available. The research was carried out by the Fondazione Fitzcarraldo's research group under the umbrella of NEF, the Network of European Foundations for innovative cooperation. The official launch of Cultural Cooperation in Europe: What role for foundations? will take place next spring in Genoa, the European Cultural Capital of 2004.

The study was made possible by joint funding within the framework of NEF from the Stiftelsen Riksbanken Jubileumsfond, the Fondation de France, the Campagnia di Sao Paulo, and the European Cultural Foundation (as the lead foundation).

Executive summary http://www.eurocult.org/pdfdb/news/Executive%20Summary.pdf

Report in full http://www.eurocult.org/pdfdb/news/Report-in-full.pdf

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The IKM's University Course in Culture Management

The IKM's university course in culture management is a graduate-level programme, designed for students with a completed university degree or a comparable level of previous study and professional experience.

The main goal of the graduate-level programme in culture management is to provide specialized skills and competences for management in the cultural field. The curriculum is designed to develop the students' modern cultural and business problem-solving skills in order to meet the demands of continuously expanding organizational challenges throughout the arts and cultural sector.

The programme is concentrated to take place in three-week long blocks per semester. A maximum of 24 students per year are accepted into the programme. Tuition is currently 1,200 euros per semester.

Graduation from the programme requires the successful completion of all prescribed coursework (mostly written exams), the completion of a written thesis (a reflexive project), and three oral exams (in culture industries studies and culture management; cultural theory and aesthetics; and business studies).

Upon the successful completion of all programme requirements and the final exam, the students receive the Master of Advanced Studies (M.A.S.) in Culture Management diploma.

Applications to the programme are accepted each year from January to early May.

For more information, please contact: Claudia Dürr, Executive Director, Institut für Kulturmanagement und Kulturwissenschaft, Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Wien, Karlsplatz 2/9, 1010 Vienna, Austria; tel.: +43-1-505 20 61 / 11; e-mail: duerr@mdw.ac.at; http://www.mdw.ac.at/ikm

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NIFCA Residencies 2004

Artist-in-residence exchange programme between the Nordic region and the West Balkans in 2004

The Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art (NIFCA) has introduced a residency exchange programme between the Nordic region (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Aaland Islands, the Faroe Islands, Greenland) and the West Balkans (including Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro). The artist-in-residence programme is open for applications from visual artists based in both regions.

The programme aims to support exchanges between the Nordic region and the West Balkans, and to initiate new collaboration projects. Around 15 residencies of 2 months each will be available in 2004.

The programme is an initiative by the Nordic Council of Ministers created to develop and consolidate the cultural networks that exist between the Nordic region and the West Balkans.

The programme opens for applications on 15 November 2003. The deadline for applications is 15 January 2004.

Application forms and further information about residency locations, application procedures, and the selection panel are available at www.nifca.org

For more information, please contact: Eija Makivouti, Project assistant-residencies, Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Suomenlinna B28, Fin-00190 Helsinki, Finland; tel.: (+358 9) 686 430 103; fax: (+358 9) 668 594; e-mail: residencies@nifca.org; http://www.nifca.org

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The European Diploma in Cultural Project Management 2004-2005

The European Diploma in Cultural Project Management is a pan-European training programme arising from the desire to foster cultural diversity and cross-regional exchanges in Europe. Since 1989, 320 cultural managers from 41 countries have taken this course. The programme is supported by the Council of Europe and the European Union. The Foundation Marcel Hicter is the organizer and manager of the course.

The objective of this programme is threefold:

  • To strengthen the knowledge of cultural managers about the European, national and regional cultural policies;
  • To improve cultural managers' skills;
  • To develop a network of regional cultural managers.

This training programme is intended for cultural managers from public or private organizations who are actively involved in the management of cultural and artistic projects in their regions, with at least 3 years experience. The programme lasts one year and is organized in 3 phases: residential sessions, practical training, and an evaluation + seminar phase.

The residential sessions - Two fortnightly sessions which take place in two different countries each year. The 2004/2005 training session will be organised in Austria + Slovakia, 11-23 May 2004, and in Senegal (to be confirmed) in the second part of October 2004. The themes to be discussed are as follows: Europe and culture, project management, cultural cooperation, operational management of cultural projects, fund raising, etc.

Back to the field - Between the residential sessions and the evaluation phase the trainees return to their jobs in their countries, and in parallel work on their own projects. They are also required to make a comparative study visit to another region of Europe.

The evaluation/seminar phase - This one-week phase takes place each year at the European Cultural Centre of Delphi (Greece). It includes the analysis of the participants' experiences and capabilities, the presentation of their projects and the organization of a thematic seminar. This phase will take place in June 2005.

The training languages are French and English. The applicants must be fluent in one of these working languages and have a good passive knowledge of the other. The age limit is 45. The course fee is 3,000 euros.

The deadline for application is 15 January 2004. The complete application form for 2004/2005 can be download from www.fondation-hicter.org

For more information, please contact: Fondation Marcel Hicter, 2 Place M. Van Meenen, B- 1060 Brussels, Belgium, tel.: +32 2 641 89 80; fax: +32 2 641 89 81; e-mail: contact@fondation-hicter.org; http://www.fondation-hicter.org

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MA European Cultural Planning

De Montfort University, Leicester, UK

This part time course runs over two years and aims to enable students to develop a critical understanding of cultural resources and cultural policy and planning in different European countries.

It covers the following areas: Research Methods in Cultural Policy and Planning, European Urban and Regional Geography and Planning, European Cultural Policies: Theoretical and Political Frameworks, European Identities, Cultural Planning.

For more information, please visit: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/Subjects/Db/?course=540

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The Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellowship Program

Theorizing Cultural Heritage 2004-2007

The Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Fellows at the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage will help expand and refine the theoretical framework for cultural heritage discourse that reflects the perspectives, activities, and participation of academic specialists, civil society groups, and public cultural organizations and that can inform dialogues across social, political, and disciplinary boundaries.

Cultural heritage is today a rubric of ever-expanding scope in the international arena, and increasingly so in the United States. Its meaning largely determined by experts, cultural heritage is used as a basis for multinational, national, state, and local programs. Cultural heritage is also the focus of ideas and programs generated by hundreds of non-governmental organizations, ethnic, regional, and community-based groups.

However, despite its growing popularity across official, community, and even business sectors, the concept of 'cultural heritage' is vastly under-theorized. It has lacked an academic, disciplinary base, has generated only an attenuated theoretical literature, and has generally failed to accommodate terminologies and narrative representations developed by grassroots and advocacy groups. This results in the curious contradiction that cultural heritage discourse becomes a uniform globalized mode of apprehending the diverse localized cultural expressions that are ostensibly its subject, yet that elite discourse is insulated from the diverse localized conceptions with which it converges. The voices of the bearers and stewards of cultural heritage - often, the poor, excluded, and marginalized - are typically silenced in those very forums in which the discourse of cultural heritage is articulated and realized.

The Smithsonian Center will host up to six humanities-oriented scholar/analysts for each of three years to work on the theoretical development of the concept of cultural heritage and its intersection with theories of culture, class, race, ethnicity, gender, and globalization. Fellows will be drawn from three sectors of cultural engagement - academic institutions, public organizations, and cultural communities - and approximately half of the fellows will come from outside the United States. The intention is both to cross-fertilize sectors of cultural heritage work and to expose international and U.S. thinkers to one another.

The primary focus of 2004-2005 fellowships is the relation between cultural heritage and political representation; of 2005-2006, between cultural heritage and economic pursuits; of 2006-2007, between cultural heritage and the arts.

Applicants need not be U.S. citizens to be eligible. These fellowships are not intended to support undergraduate or graduate studies.

The Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage - where cultural heritage is the subject of ongoing, daily intellectual and practical activity - will host the fellows. Given the Center's location within the Smithsonian and in Washington, D.C., and given its strong connections to international and national institutions, service organizations, NGOs, and community groups, the fellows will partake of an incredibly rich environment and find colleagues strongly interested in their work.

Application: Submit a letter of interest (not to exceed three pages), in English. This letter should outline the proposed work and how it will further the theoretical development of the concept of cultural heritage. The applicants should attach a resume or C.V. and include the proposed dates of the residency. Based on letters of interest, a limited number of applicants will be notified and invited to submit full proposals by February 27, 2004. Full proposals will be due April 1, 2004, for the first year's fellowships.

Term: six weeks to five months, between September and July of each year. Deadline for letter of interest: January 15, 2004.

Letters of interest and resumes/C.V.s may be sent by mail, fax, or e-mail to Carla Borden, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Victor Building, Suite 4100, MRC 953, Washington, DC 20013-7012, U.S.A., fax: 202-275-1119; e-mail: culturalheritagefellows@si.edu

For more information, please contact: James C. Early, Director, Cultural Heritage Policy, Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, 750 9th Street NW, Suite 4100, Washington, DC 20560-0953, USA; tel.: 202-275-157 6; fax: 202-275-1119; e-mail: culturalheritagefellows@si.edu; http://www.folklife.si.edu