NO. 1093 DOI - 17.07.2007
The European Commission has designated 2008 as the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue and is inviting all participating countries to create projects to mark this year. The Ministry for Tourism and Culture identified St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity as the National Coordinating Body to submit a national proposal to the European Commission. St. James Cavalier has launched a national call for creative projects to be developed in 2008 by artists, cultural organisations and other NGOs.
The selected projects will form part of the national programme equivalent to €50,000 which Malta will be submitting to the European Commission in mid-September 2007. The proposed action by Malta has the objective of creating opportunities that unite people with different cultural backgrounds and of bringing together artists to manifest intercultural dialogue. The aim is to create interactions between artists and local communities and diffuse more information to the general public that will enable understanding and thus cooperation between different groups. Another objective relates to the discovery of the roots of European culture whilst observing the similarities and diversities of these cultures.
The call for creative ideas requests applicants to propose innovative creative projects related to the exploration of the 5 senses: touch, smell, taste, sound and sight. The senses are the foundation for dialogue. Verbal or nonverbal communicative processed through the exploration of the senses through sounds, images, texts, textures and materials will offer diverse opportunities for an understanding of intercultural dialogue. Applicants are also requested to collaborate with other Maltese and European artists and/or arts organisations or NGOs. Non-European artists can also participate in the project.
In particular, the National Coordinating Body is looking for projects which would involve and benefit children, youth and communities and addressing issues of ethnicity, minorities, religion and socio-economic issues.
Proposals should include a description of the concept, the time frame to be used (projects must be created between February and December 2008), the number of people participating directly or indirectly or virtually and the budget requested together with an indication of potential co-financing measures.
For further information contact the St. James Cavalier on 21 223 200 or visit www.sjcav.org
The objectives of the EYID 2008 are to promote intercultural dialogue as an instrument to assist European citizens, and all those living in the European Union, in acquiring the knowledge and abilities in order to deal with a more open and more complex environment and to raise the awareness of European citizens, and all those living in the European Union, of the importance of developing an active European citizenship which is open to the world, respectful of cultural diversity and based on common values in the EU.
This ‘invitation’ for a ‘European citizenship’ is open to the world, respectful of cultural diversity and is based on the common values of respect for human dignity, liberty, human rights, equality, non-discrimination, solidarity and democracy.
Culture can be defined as ‘life’. It is the totality of human experiences in a particular period and place. It is a succession of snapshots that together make up time (past, present and future). Life is dynamic and thus culture is dynamic. A community’s culture is kept alive because it keeps feeding on influences from other cultures. The interdependency of cultures is at the basis of all cultures and this is basically the unifying aspect behind the EU’s different cultures. All culture embodies aspects of identity. Artists are not necessarily representatives of their country’s traditions but are individual holders of a cultural identity built on cultural particles which travel, drift away from their original context and are transplanted into new forms. This cultural cycle belongs to a cooperation which transcends the preservation of culture but explores the constant transition of identities.
Culture is the unifying factor in our diversity. People are tied together by one single notion – humanity and this leads us to the creativity and innovation of culture and the manifestation of existence.
The Mediterranean region has always been a meeting place for different cultures and civilizations. The history of the Mediterranean shows us how different cultures met, lived and fought with each other. The ever increase wave of illegal migration that is leaving the north African shores in search of a better life in Europe is another manifestation of culture exchanges. Malta, as a small island in the Mediterranean, finds itself in the middle of this migration.
In the promotion of our culture portfolio, Malta wants to encourage a sense of belonging with the aim of encouraging understanding, tolerance and more cooperation. Belonging is not limited to ties with one’s native country but is understood as the wider sense of participating in an active way in the life of the place where you are residing either permanently or temporarily. This means a more active cooperation between EU citizens and all those staying in an EU country irrespective of their origin.
Intercultural cultural dialogue implies a contemporary communicative process between people who do not seek to preserve identity, homogenise identities or impose a dominant culture. The democratisation process within intercultural dialogue calls for a knowledgeable understanding of one’s culture and that of other cultures through creative trans-national cultural cooperation projects which reach out and are developed within different communities.