Activities of the Culturelink Network in 1998/99
- Continuing efforts have been made to increase the membership of the Culturelink Network and to establish links among them at different levels, for purposes of research, development of databases, and exchange of information. More than 10,000 networks, institutions and professionals working in the field of culture are linked with the Culturelink Network - as members, cooperating partners, or users of its on-line resources.
- The Asia-Pacific Regional Centre of the Culturelink Network (APRCCN) was set up in 1997 in Seoul, Korea, and has been operational since 1998. The aim of this regional centre is to develop and strengthen the dissemination of cultural information and to 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 was held in Seoul, in March 1998, to discuss The Role of the Regional Information Network for Cultural Development. (See Culturelink no. 25/August 1998, pp. 3-9.)
- The Proceedings of the International Conference held in Dubrovnik in December 1997 on The Mediterranean: Cultural Identity and Prospects for Intercultural Dialogue have now been published. The proceedings comprise some thirty papers and discussions, a testimony to the abundance of ideas and thoughts about the Mediterranean as an open cultural and development project, as well as a strong support to the idea of Mediterraneanism.
- Updating information on cultural policies within the framework of the Cultural Policy Database has been an ongoing process since 1995. This is an on-line textual database. The data on 27 European and Asian countries are available on the Internet, at the Culturelink web site. Culturelink members from Europe, Asia and Canada have participated in this project.
- An on-line database of networks and institutions in the field of cultural development (Cultural Development Database) has been prepared experimentally. It contains information on more than 1000 institutions and networks from all regions of the world working in the field of cultural development. Access to the database via the Internet makes possible searches according to different criteria. The long-term objective is the development of a worldwide interactive information system for the study of cultural development and cooperation.
- The regular issues of the Culturelink Review in 1998 and 1999 comprised The Dossiers devoted to special topics: Culture and Development (no. 24/April 1998), Cultural Borders (no. 25/August 1998), Putting Culture on the World Stage (no. 26/November 1998), European Culture (no. 27/April 1999), MERCOSUR: Borders, Cultures and Identities (no. 28/August 1999), and Towards a Culture of Peace (no. 29/November 1999). Culturelink members from Canada, China, Mexico, Spain and Argentina, as well as UNESCO and the Council of Europe, contributed to these Dossiers. In addition, with 180 pages per issue, the Culturelink Review carries information about networks, current or planned research projects, , and publications. The Culturelink review is also available on the Internet.
- Culturelink was the partner of ERICArts in the organization of the international conference on Identity and Pluralism: The First North-South Expert Conference, held in Santiago, Chile, in September 1999.
- Within the framework of the activities of the Culturelink Network, several young researchers have been trained. Two M.A. dissertations were defended in 1998 and 1999, dealing with topics such as organisation of knowledge and cultural heritage, and social impacts of the new communication technologies.
Activities Planned for 2000/01
- Efforts will be continued to establish and strengthen communications and links among the Culturelink Network members at different levels, to work on joint research projects, development of databases, publication activities, and exchange of information.
- For this purpose, the publication of the Guide to the Culturelink Network Members is planned. The Guide will comprise (a) a presentation of the Network's achievements during the past 10 years (research, databases, events/conferences, publications, other activities), and (b) a detailed list of the Culturelink members (general information, profile, contact addresses).
- To satisfy the growing interest of the Culturelink members, it is planned to improve information availability by adding search capabilities to the Culturelink Web pages.
- Updating information on cultural policies on the Internet - the Cultural Policy Database - has been an ongoing process since 1995. Additional cultural policies will be made available via the Culturelink Web space. It is also planned to research the Internet presence of the institutions mentioned in the cultural policies, and to include and continuously update links to all existing home pages in the Cultural Policy Database.
- Further elaboration of the on-line database of networks and institutions in the field of cultural development (Cultural Development Database) on the Internet will go towards the development of an on-line interactive information system. This will make possible multiple-criteria searches but also, and more importantly, the updating and contribution of data from organisations described in the database. The database will also provide links to WWW pages of those organisations in the database that have developed them.
- To further improve communication among its members, the Culturelink Network intends to open its Web space and offer to its members a site for the exchange of ideas and information relevant to the field of culture and to their work. Also, a Web-based Discussion Forum is envisaged, aiming to further facilitate active participation in reflection, exchange of experience and the development of joint projects designed to promote cultural policies in the world.
- Four issues of the Culturelink review are planned for 2000, and another four for 2001.
- The Second World Culturelink Conference devoted to Intercultural Communication: The Role of Networks is planned to be held in cooperation with the Department of Canadian Heritage. The goals of the conference will be to promote intercultural communication, to question and debate intercultural practices and policies for development, and to encourage joint research projects on intercultural communication.
- Some international conferences, such as the Sixth Conference on European Culture in Pamplona in October 2000, will be held in cooperation with the Culturelink Network.
- Preparations will be started for setting up regional centres of the Culturelink Network in Africa and Latin America.
- A number of joint research projects are planned, among them the project Redefining Cultural Identities: The Multicultural Contexts of the Central European and Mediterranean Regions. The redefinition of cultural identities is particularly important in these regions, and partners from the Central European and Mediterranean countries will be included.
- Other activities will further develop Culturelink's concern about the role of (old and new) media in the development of political and cultural pluralism around the world and about the impact of media policies.