The Cultural Diversity Umbrella

Advocacy, Cultural, Creative Industry, Sustainability, Sustainable Devt.

The Cultural Diversity Umbrella: A Space for Handmade

Jongeward, Carolyn

Issue 1, Summer 2019                                                                            ISSN: 2581- 9410

A new framework is emerging through international policy discussions on the role of culture and development. The principles of this new framework are contained within the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. While the broad objectives include preservation of cultural heritage, the fostering of creativity, cooperation, peace and security, the intent is to increase international recognition and support for cultural enterprises and entrepreneurship.

What is the place of the craft sector in relation to this new framework? Is it an important focal point or on the fringe of the policy debate? How will its potential be realized within this new context? Craft development issues are familiar to those who have worked for decades with artisans in less-developed countries, supporting communities of women and men by means of technical training, product development, and marketing assistance. Now the language has changed: handmade products are cultural products. Craftspeople and artisans are cultural operators, cultural entrepreneurs. The new culture and development framework is based on a history of efforts to recognize the importance of cultural diversity to social and economic development, and more specifically to emphasize the significance of culture as an agent of economic development. According to t...
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