Culture is often attributed a major role in sustainable development. Task of cultural policy is therefore to create and support structures that promote mobilization of creativity of people and thus ensure welfare, innovation and pluralism. Societies in Africa are facing challenges like ethnic and religious conflicts, social marginalisation and displacement, among others. In this context, artistic practices can contribute in fostering social cohesion and participation which leads to more peaceful coexistence and the creation of pluralistic societies. Artists are social commentators to channel but also to defuse conflicts, which can be a model for an aesthetic transformation of conflicts contributing to sustainable development.
The conference investigates the role of arts and culture for sustainable development by addressing the following questions:
- What are the definitions of an arts and culture based sustainable development?
- In which way can artists provide solutions for societies in transformation and fragile contexts?
- What new mechanisms of international cultural relations and policies are needed for a change in European-African cooperation?
The conference offers insights and exchange on the above-mentioned topics with scholars of the Graduate School ‘Performing Sustainability’ from West-Africa as well as researchers of the Master’s program ‘Cultural Policy and Cultural Management’ from the Arab Region and academics from Germany.
Prof. Dr. Raija Kramer (University Hamburg, Germany), Chairwomen Fachverband Afrikanistik will speak about current debates and her critical view on the German Africa policy. Amos Asare Darkwa (Ghana) and Abdullah Afif (Yemen) will introduce concepts of innovating cultural policy from the perspective of the Global South, Alasambom Nyingchuo (Cameroon) and Naoures Rouissi (Tunisia) will debate on the role of film in processes of transformation, Zainab Musa Shallangwa (Nigeria) and Firas Farrah (Palestine) will speak about cultural heritage in contexts of migration and displacement. Prof. Bosoma Sheriff of the University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) will give a lecture on Coping Strategies of Musicians in Northern Nigeria. Other sessions will cover aspects of music and social cohesion, theatre policies and socio-culture for sustainable development.
The interdisciplinary Graduate School ‘Performing Sustainability. Cultures and Development in West Africa’ focuses on innovative research that brings together approaches from performance, arts and culture to bear on sustainable development as defined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A specific focus lies on issues of peace and conflict resolution. The Graduate School is a cooperation of the University of Hildesheim (Germany), the University of Maiduguri (Nigeria) and the University of Cape Coast (Ghana).
The Master’s in Cultural Policy and Cultural Management at the Hassan II University in Casablanca, Morocco is the first of its kind in the Arab region. It aims to develop a new generation of researchers, cultural managers, policy makers, and academics capable of contributing to cultural practices in the Arab region, and working with a strategic approach in the public cultural sector, creative industries, and the independent non-profit cultural sector. The program seeks to build capacities that would enable the students to play an active role in promoting and supporting freedom of expression, wider access to culture, intraregional and international cultural collaboration and professionalism.
The Conference is hosted by the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policy for the Arts in Development at the Department of Cultural Policy of the University of Hildesheim and the Center for World Music in cooperation with the Bundesakademie für Kulturelle Bildung Wolfenbüttel.