Knowledge partnerships for cultural diversity
The project CONNEXXIONS of the German Commission for UNESCO strengthens democracy and cultural participation in the Arab region. Three years after the uprisings in the Arab region, the social and political transformation in Tunisia and Egypt is in full swing. CONNEXXIONS is supporting these transformation processes through capacity building, exchange of experiences, knowledge transfer and networking.
The promotion of cultural diversity and cultural participation strengthens democracy, tolerance and social cohesion. International cooperation in and through cultural policies help to increase development opportunities. A dynamic and organised civil society plays a key role in this development process. At this point, CONNEXXIONS comes into play: Since 2012, the German Commission for UNESCO develops projects in cooperation with regional and local partners to strengthen the cultural sector in Arab countries in transition. The 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions provides a platform and reference point for this knowledge exchange. Around 300 cultural experts, activists and operators have so far been part of the CONNEXXIONS Project.
CONNEXXIONS 2014 – Supporting Social Transformation
In 2014, CONNEXXIONS project activities are being continued in the field of cultural governance and capacity building in close cooperation with its local partners. Building on the results of the International Expert Workshop in Tunis (December 2013), representatives of Tunisian universities are currently preparing a proposal for the establishment of a Tunisian Master programme for cultural management and cultural policies. The need for such a Master programme had been identified at the Forum of Tunisian Cultural Associations (Forum des associations culturelles tunisiennes – FACT) in June 2013. The German Commission for UNESCO supports this initiative through peer review: international cultural experts will discuss the proposal together with their Tunisian colleagues before its submission to the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education.
Strengthening Cultural Governance
To strengthen capacities in cultural governance, the German Commission for UNESCO advises cultural actors in and from Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco. This consultation includes working visits, online coaching and the organisation of a CONNEXXIONS panel at the African Creative Economy Conference of the Pan-African Arterial Network (13 to 15 November, Rabat, Morocco).
Creating Networks of Young Experts
At the workshop "CONNEXXIONS U40" (Alexandria, November 2012) young experts initiated a process to promote interregional networking. This initiative, which was further developed during the workshop "Cultural Resources for Human Development" (Casablanca, November 2013) will be continued in 2014 by further strengthening the regional network “U40 Arabesque". When cooperating within the U40 Network, young cultural experts are being enabled to embed their own projects into the wider context of international cultural policies, a framework which opens up further possibilities for participation.
Analysing the Impact of CONNEXXIONS
Outcomes of CONNEXXIONS will be evaluated in 2014. On the basis of this evaluation, the project‘s quality, impact and communication will be assessed and further developed.
CONNEXXIONS is a project of the German Commission for UNESCO within the framework of the German-Egyptian and the German-Tunisian Transformation Partnership.