Selam will participate in a panel discussion on 28 September organised by the governments of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, with support from the Nordic Council of Ministers. The event is part of UNESCO’s World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development MONDIACULT 2022 in Mexico City between 28 and 30 September.
The discussions, titled Strengthening Cultural Policies to Promote Artistic Freedom, will zoom in on the effective tools needed to support cultural policy makers to ensure freedom of expression, including artistic freedom. The panel will bring together ministers and experts to exchange best practices and address challenges on how to contribute to finding a way forward to promote a free and inclusive cultural landscape.
Guest speakers include Ms Anette Trettebergstuen, Minister of Culture and Equality in Norway, Mr Tuomo Puumala, Vice Minister of Education and Culture in Finland, Ms Anna Wikner, Director International Secretariat, Ministry of Culture in Sweden, Lucy Ilado, Selam’s regional programme director, Denise Dora, Director of Article 19, and Tania Bruguera, artist and activist with a focus on installation and performance art.
A strong, resilient cultural sector is dependent on robust and sound cultural policies,
based on human rights. The Nordics have a long-standing engagement in promoting freedom of expression and the diversity of cultural expressions. In 2015, a Nordic side-event to the 38th UNESCO General Conference was organised on the status of the artist and artistic freedom. In 2016, the Nordic Ministers of Culture adopted the Helsinki Declaration on promoting diversity of cultural expressions and artistic freedom in a digital age. The world has changed drastically in the last 7 years. It is now time to look back, reflect and revitalise the discussion. Concrete tools for culture policy makers ensuring freedom of expression, including artistic freedom, is still lacking. The purpose of this side event is to bring ministers and experts together to exchange best practices and challenges on how to contribute to finding a way forward to promote a free and inclusive cultural landscape.
This event takes place in the Cencalli venue, Mexico City, between 3pm and 4 pm local time (GMT-5).Selam’s participation in the event comes at a time when the organisation is conducting research on the state of artistic freedom in eight African countries, looking at policies and other factors that inhibit or support artistic freedom. PANAF is a new network-building initiative funded by the Swedish Arts Council and seeks to create a Pan-African inclusive voice for organisations connecting African artists and culture producers defending artistic freedom. It is being developed in collaboration with partners in Nigeria, Gambia, Mozambique, Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia, with plans to involve several other countries in the future.