The Network of Networks for Research and Cooperation in the Field of Cultural Development, Culturelink, was established in June 1989, in Paris, during the international symposium on networks for cultural development organized jointly by UNESCO and the Council of Europe. Ever since its inception, the Network has been headquartered at the Institute for International Relations, in Zagreb, Croatia.
The Network's activities include international research in the field of cultural development and cooperation, establishment and development of data bases, and regular publication of its quarterly journal Culturelink. The Network's members are cultural development and cooperation networks, research institutions, universities, arts associations, cultural institutions of different kinds (museums, libraries, theatres, etc.), information and documentation centres, cultural centres etc.
The Network now incorporates over a thousand networks and institutions in 97 countries on all the continents.
Activities of the Culturelink Network in 1996/97
- The development of databases on cultural policies, networks and institutions in the field of cultural development - the Cultural Development Database and the Cultural Policy Database - resulted in the publication of the two Directories of Institutions and Databases in the Field of Cultural Development, which present data on a large number of institutions, their projects and publications, information infrastructure, data bases, and cooperation with other cultural institutions.
The Cultural Policy Database containing textual materials on the subject of cultural policy in different countries can be accessed, since 1997, at the Culturelink Network web site at http://www.culturelink.hr/culpol/culpol.html.
- The proceedings of the First World Conference of the Culturelink Network on the Dynamics of Communication and Cultural Change: The Role of Networks, held in Zagreb, 8-11 June 1995, were published in the Culturelink Special Issue 1996 and distributed world-wide.
- The proceedings of the International Conference on Europe of Cultures: Cultural Identity of Central Europe, held in Zagreb, 22-24 November 1996, were published in 1997 and sent to all members of the Culturelink Network, as well as to other professionals interested in the subject.
- The research project Assessment of Cultural Information Needs in the Central European Countries in Transition Towards the Market Economy was carried out and completed in 1997.
- Four issues (three regular issues and one Special Issue) of Culturelink were published in English 1996 and four again in 1997. With 160-180 pages per issue, Culturelink carries information about networks, research projects, conferences, publications. Culturelink is also available on the Internet: http://www.culturelink.hr/publics/bulletin.html.
- In addition, two issues of Culturelink were published in French in 1997.
- Initial preparations were made for setting up the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre of the Culturelink Network in Korea. The documents regulating cooperation and relationships between the Culturelink focal point in Zagreb and the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre in Seoul were signed, thus making possible the start of activities in 1998.
- The international conference on The Mediterranean: Cultural Identity and Prospects for Intercultural Dialogue was held in Dubrovnik, 5 to 7 December 1997. The topics discussed at the conference, include the Mediterranean Cultural Identity, the Trans-Mediterranean Cultural Dialogue, Interethnic and Intercultural Relations in the Mediterranean, etc.
Activities Planned for 1998/99
- Continuing efforts will be made to increase membership and to establish links among them at different levels through the Culturelink Network, for purposes of research, development of databases, and exchange of information.
- The Asia-Pacific Regional Centre of the Culturelink Network (APRCCN) will be operational from 1998. It will develop and strengthen the dissemination of cultural information and intensify international and intercultural communication on the subregional and regional levels, as well as on the international level in the Asia-Pacific region. The First Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting of the Culturelink Network will be held in Seoul, 10-11 March 1998. The theme will be the Role of the Regional Information Network for Cultural Development. (A detailed report from this Meeting will be published in the next issue of Culturelink.)
- Publication of the proceedings of the International Conference on The Mediterranean: Cultural Identity and Prospects for Intercultural Dialogue. The proceedings will contain the conference papers and discussions and thus make a valuable contribution to the study of contemporary changes and Mediterranean intercultural communication.
- Updating information on cultural policies has been an ongoing process since 1995. Since 1997 the data on some European countries have been available on the Internet, at the Culturelink web site. Updated information on the cultural policies of European, African and Asian countries should be accessible through the Culturelink web site in 1998/1999.
- The preparation of an on-line database of networks and institutions in the field of cultural development (Cultural Development Database) on the Internet, in order to make this information available to Culturelink members, UNESCO and the Council of Europe, as well as all other interested institutions. Access to the database via the Internet will make possible multiple-criteria searches. The long-term objective is the development of a worldwide information system for the study of cultural development and cooperation.
- The regional directory of cultural institutions. The Asia-Pacific Directory will be prepared in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre of the Culturelink Network. The Directory will hold data about cultural institutions, their projects, and, in particular, databases and their possible linkage.
- Four issues of Culturelink are planned for 1998, and another four for 1999. There are, also, plans to publish Culturelink in Russian.
- Publication of the Guide to Culturelink Network Members is planned for 1998.
- Preparations for the Second World Culturelink Conference in 1999.
- In 1998, two international conferences, in Buenos Aires (EricArts - main organizer) and Florence (Institut Français of Florence - main organizer), will be held in cooperation with the Culturelink Network (for the Florence Conference, see next page).