Thursday, 24/05/2018 09:40

Việt Nam to promote cultural diversity following UNESCO guidelines

Make art not war: An exhibition at Manzi Art Space, an international creative hub. Researchers said the operation of creative hubs like this can help promote cultural diversity.— Photo courtesy of Manzi
Viet Nam News

HA NOI — Viet Nam is determined to promote cultural diversity and integrate with international cultural conventions, Vuong Duy Bien, deputy minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said at a conference held on Wednesday in Ha Noi.

During the conference, the Ministry, alongside the UN cultural agency UNESCO, announced the 2018 global report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The conference drew the participation of local cultural managers, research centres, foreign cultural centres, creative hubs and independent artists.

They discussed the challenges, opportunities and motivations in promoting cultural diversity and development in Viet Nam.

Michael Croft, head of the UNESCO Ha Noi Office, said the global report will help Viet Nam review the process of implementing UNESCO’s convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.

"It’s also a chance to develop the Vietnamese creative industry, which has a big potential," he said.

“I like to look at it as a treasure map, because it gives us an indication of where we need to be looking – and what direction to take – to unlock the potential of the culture sector and harness its power, not just for economic reasons, compelling as they are, but also as a means to drive sustainable development in the country and foster human rights.

“Creativity is also leading us to look again at the means of production, changing the language of economics towards models which factor in regeneration and redistribution of wealth, to point the way in terms of how best to incorporate sustainability to the question of consumption. Culture is a human construct, and to support cultural expression and creativity is to support the human being in all of us, and to support the realisation of human rights and sustainable development of society.

“This would be not just an important framework to accelerate the development of cultural industries in the country, but it would also help bring Viet Nam’s story – and Vietnamese best practice – to the world.”

Croft identified four main goals related to UNESCO’s Convention as: supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture; achieving a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increasing mobility of artists and cultural professionals; integrating culture into sustainable development frameworks; and promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Nguyen Phuong Hoa, vice director of the International Co-operation Department, under the Ministry of Culture, stated that it’s necessary to enhance the networking capability of relevant stakeholders including managers and owners of creative hubs, public cultural managers and policy makers as well as relevant government agencies, with the aim to enhance cultural diversity and develop the creative industry.

“In my opinion, we should empower cultural and creative hubs, and give artists freedom in creating what they please,” she said.

Get creative

Researcher Luong Hong Quang noted the important role that cultural and creative hubs (CCHs) play in bringing communities together and encouraging creative expression.

In Viet Nam, most CCHs are independent art and creative spaces, often led and managed by artists and creative practitioners.

“These organisations are important players in the culture sector and have great potential for engaging in and supporting artistic expressions, and expanding access to cultural life,” he said.

“A number of creative hubs are rooted in the dreams of individuals or small groups. The founders mostly learn from their own experiences.”

He mentioned some suggestions to develop the operations of CCHs, such as capacity building for managers and owners, as well as their artists and creative practitioners.

“We train curators and producers, as they are the centre of managing creative hubs," he said. "We focus in particular on the fields of visual arts, museums, events and performing arts.”

He added that cultural centres such as Ha Noi, HCM City and Da Nang should consider developing strategies for cultural industries at a city level. — VNS

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