Discussion Paper on "Fair Culture" published
The need for new solutions to promote a fair and sustainable global exchange of cultural goods and services is more urgent than ever. In the recently published Discussion Paper, the German Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (University of Laval, Canada) provides an insight into the ongoing study “Fair Culture – A Key to Sustainable Development.”
Since 2018, the German Commission for UNESCO has been working with academia and civil society to address the issue of sustainability in the cultural value chain. The idea of “fair culture” is based on several fair trade principles, which have been used to promote social, economic, ecological and ethical trade standards for more than 25 years.
The focus of the study is on how fair trade principles can be applied to the cultural and creative industries. To achieve the benefits of a “fair culture” concept, careful revision and adaptation to the particularities of the arts and culture sector are required, giving special attention to the complex processes involved in the creation, production and global exchange of cultural goods and services. This is the main goal of the study “Fair Culture – A Key to Sustainable Development.”
The study is conducted by the German Commission for UNESCO in cooperation with the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (University of Laval, Canada) and the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. It is expected to be published in June 2021.
Fair Culture in times of the Covid-19 pandemic
The research for the study is being carried out against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, which reinforces the urgency of a “fair culture” approach. In the last year alone, the rapid rise of online trade and streaming services has drastically changed the production and reception conditions for the international film and music scene. The fashion and product design industries, as well as the gaming industry and the book sector, have undergone profound transformations too. They all belong to the cultural and creative industries, one of the fastest-growing branches of the global economy, particularly in the Global South.
About the Discussion Paper
The Discussion Paper is based on preliminary research and interviews carried out by the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions from June to November 2020. It also draws on the ResiliArt Online Debate on “Fair Culture” held on the 19th of November 2020. The event was organized by the German Commission for UNESCO, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the UNESCO Chair on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Key reflections following the debate will contribute to the further elaboration of the study.