Culture and Creativity: vectors for development. 2009 Brussels Colloquium
Culture plays a fundamental role in the development of societies, not only in terms of identity and human development but also for democracy, peace and stability. While globalisation may exacerbate nationalist temptations, culture is drawn ever nearer to being a vital element of dialogue and mutual understanding between peoples. Cultural diversity is essential to break down the trivialising, or even impoverishing standardization brought on by globalisation, and can become an essential part of its humanisation.
Cultural industries, when they are able to develop, can be important economic levers, without the need for heavy investment. The potential of the cultural sector, a sector generating creative activities, employment, exports and income, is a challenge carrying all the dimensions of a priority economic sector.
By bringing together over 800 politicians, artists and cultural and development specialists,representatives of governments, civil society and media from 65 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States and from the European Union (EU), the International Colloquium «Culture and Creativity, vectors for development» that we organised in Brussels from 1 to 3 April 2009 was an opportunity to facilitate exchanges between professionals and politicians on the importance of culture for development. At the closing ceremony of the Colloquium, cultural professionals submitted their «Brussels Declaration» to policy makers in which they identified a series of recommendations to take better advantage of the creative potential and cultural richness of ACP countries.
This Declaration is an important contribution in order to strengthen the role of culture in development and for more effective action from professionals, national and regional overnments and from the European Union. It is our task to make sure that, from now on, these recommendations remain alive and functioning.
The European Commission committed to a number of measures in favour of the cultural dimension of development in ACP countries. We are confident that the cultural actors and policymakers from the countries concerned will take up their responsibilities in order to give effect to the recommendations of the Brussels Declaration, as far as specific opportunities and constraints of each region and country are concerned.
In these times of crisis, more than ever we need strong cultural identities, and it is the cement in which societies are based. We need the creators and artists who, by changing our perspective on the world, by mapping out the path of the future, push its development. We need to seize every opportunity to develop the sectors that create wealth and a better understanding between citizens and peoples. Now, more than ever, 'Culture and Creativity' should be 'vectors for development'. We need to make culture a part of the solution to the crises we are experiencing.
To all - designers, artists, cultural specialists, policymakers, donors – it is time to act now.
Videos from the event :
1. Culture, vector for development
2. The circulation of artists and works
3. Opportunities for EU-ACP partnerships and co-productions
4. The legal environment and author's' rights
5. Towards a wider access to the world market
6. The added value of the European support
7. On the road to success
8. First conclusions and next steps
9. The "Brussels Declaration"
10. SPOT: colloque "culture et création: facteur de développement"