2nd ENCATC Academy on Cultural Relations & Diplomacy- Focus: Middle East, Northern Africa & Arabian Peninsula

Brussels, Belgium

The second ENCATC Academy on Cultural Relations & Diplomacy was held from 21-22 November in Brussels. Special focus this year was put on the Middle East, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula drawing participants from the European Parliament and the European Commission, the Hill International for Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, the British Council, institutes for cultural policy and European universities.

Hosted by the CIVA (Centre International pour la Ville, l'Architecture et le Paysage) in Brussels, the intimate learning environment resulted in depth discussions and passionate debates. Together, the invited experts brought a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this year’s Academy who engaged in topics such as: “cultural diplomacy vs. cultural relations vs. public diplomacy”; “democratic transitions and understanding the political and geopolitical challenges of Arab nations”; “understanding social and cultural challenges in Arab countries”; “financing the sector in the Arab world”; and finally the hot topic of the “role of intellectuals and artists in the Arab Spring”. S.E.M. Bernard Valero, French Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium also provided insight to France’s cultural policy in the Middle East and North Africa, bringing interesting and thought-provoking examples. 

The content was further enriched by the participants who, inspired by the deep knowledge and experience of the Academy’s contributors, shared their own views, experiences and challenges they have faced. In the end there was no lack of diverse and stirring examples of transnational and international cultural projects, training and education for arts managers, funding opportunities and more. 

“The ENCATC Academy gives a good cross cultural approach with an emphasis on practicalities together with a reflection on  the complexity and subtlety of the  notion of  culture,” said Olivier Deseez, Chargé de mission Afrique-Proche et Moyen-Orient at the French Ministry of Culture and Communication.  

More details about the ENCATC Academy will be included in the 2013 ENCATC Activity Report to be published in 2014! 

2nd ENCATC Academy on Cultural Relations & Diplomacy- Focus: Middle East, Northern Africa & Arabian Peninsula