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Smithsonian Folkways Magazine

Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Articles

Cultural Trade, Development and Democracy:
US, UNESCO and INCD

These two panelists present background perspectives on the formation and drafting of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity.

Richard Arndt details the history of the return of the United States Commission to UNESCO from the perspective of the lobby group American's for UNESCO, and discusses the role of the U.S. in the formation of the UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity.
Remarks by Richard Arndt: Americans for UNESCO

Garry Neil from the International Network for Cultural Diversity (INCD) details the history and formation of this civil society organization, discussions on cultural policy development, and the role of the INCD in instigating the formation of the UNESCO Convention.
Remarks by Garry Niel, Executive Director: Globalization and Diversity, UNESCO and Cultural Policy-Making:Imperatives for U.S. Arts and Culture Practitioners and Organizations

To send comments to the U.S. Commission to UNESCO, email: dcunesco@state.gov.

INCD draft: UNESCO Convention on Cultural Diversity

Can Culture be considered Cultural Goods and Services?

This section opens up discussion on the definition of cultural goods and services.

Bonnie Richardson from the Motion Picture Association (MPA) discusses the relationship between free trade rules and cultural diversity.
Remarks by Bonnie Richardson

Theodore Bikel from the Associated Actors and Artists of America presents an artist's view. His presentation explores the contemporary role of artists in society and the current conditions influencing artistic creation.
Remarks by Theodore Bikel

Ted Magder from the Department of Culture and Communication, New York University, discusses the economic categorization of cultural products, advocating the balance of government control and regulated markets.
Remarks by Ted Magder

Diversity of Cultural Traditions & Expressions within Nations:
Existing Structures and Future Possibilities

David Bollier, Co-founder and Public Knowledge and Editor of Onthecommons.org, advocates the need for a "new narrative and analysis" for talking about the intrinsic value of cultural diversity. Nation-states, copyright law and commercial interests generally assess the value of culture in economic terms, but such a discourse fails to recognize the role of non-market factors --social community, shared artistic traditions, cultural institutions-- in generating culture. Bollier therefore advocates a new language of "the commons" as a way to fortify the collectively owned resources that are responsible for cultural diversity.
Abstract of Remarks by David Bollier
Remarks by David Bollier (full article)

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