Thoughts on culture in Tunisia
Hi cultures …a salutation that I‘d like to address to my current blog readers on IFACCA’s Website. I think it summarizes what a human being is in the end…a representative of a culture that is transmitted endlessly and diversely no matter the time.
Now, I am eagerly waiting the beginning of the workshop (more precisely the creative workshop) “CONNEXXIONS” that will take place from 6th to 8th of September at the International cultural centre in Hammamet, an initiative of the German commission for UNESCO in association with several partners among them the Tunisian Ministry of Culture. I personally consider this workshop as another showcase of the uniqueness of culture sector techniques and tools in providing tangible and operational solutions to real problems.
Tunisia is getting out of a quasi-conflict status and a democratic transition process is taking place where culture with civil society have a high potential in shaping the future. This is the major aim of the workshop, how can we practically use culture for development?, For individual and community empowerment? , For freedom of expression?, For creativity?, For social cohesiveness? It is challenging but not impossible and here comes also the power of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (UNESCO 2005) with its operational guidelines. Maybe sometimes I am, criticized for being a fan of this convention much more than it deserves, but I am still convinced that it has something not yet exploited , a potential that can create a paradigm shift in culture sector as a whole, and this is ,in my opinion, what is really happening.
In fact, the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture organized by IFACCA was a great discovery for me and an unforgettable experience. It showed Culture in practice with its multiple connections and intersections with other sectors and demonstrated the vastness of its circle of influence in changing people’s lives to a better state, connoted always as “development”. During their presentations, and within the framework of IFACCA workshops methodology, Culture specialists did show unique methods toward extracting and grouping multiple experiences, as to accumulate this collective intelligence and knowledge and replicate it in other places…a method that is extremely in harmony with the ways culture is passed from a generation to another , and it gives also a hint on how harmonious cultural policies can be formulated in response to individuals and communities cultural needs.
Last but not least, I invite you to consider the exercise of excluding culture from any development project – you can sense something, maybe some people would say that it would be emptiness, for others a sense of ‘nothing’ – somehow, there is an intrinsic relationship between the two.
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