World Culture Summit announces contributors to its focus on culture and sustainability


Following the announcement of the sixth edition of the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, the world’s largest gathering of culture ministers with artists and practitioners, the Summit today announced further details of the programme, which includes a day dedicated to culture and sustainability.

A keynote address will be delivered by renowned ethnomusicologist Steven Feld, renowned in the fields of anthropology and music and recognized for his work with the Kaluli (Bosavi) people of Papua New Guinea. Afterwards, a keynote address will be given by Mina Girgis, founder of the Nile Project, an international non-profit organization that promotes the sustainability of the Nile by organizing innovative collaborations between musicians, university students and professionals.

Culture & Sustainability will explore the vital role culture can play in helping people around the world discover common ground, conceptualize the critical issues we face today, and help imagine and create global solutions for a sustainable future. The theme of sustainability will also be the focus of a plenary session in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament, supported by discussions and private policy workshops.

The first of the Summit’s workshops brings ministers of culture and delegates from around the world to explore the culture of land and water, answering the question of how we can foster respect and understanding for importance of fertile land, oceans and rivers. Among those who will contribute to this conversation are Angus Farquhar, who brings decades of experience in performance and environmental installation, as well as the creative director of Dandelion, a science, art and music festival program that calls the Scots to use the land to grow their own food.

Dame Meg Taylor, who served as Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum until 2021, joins the Summit to share her perspective on business and regulatory issues related to building a sustainable society. With extensive and varied experience in the public and private sectors at national and international levels, she will bring valuable insights into the discussion of marine, forest and urban environments with a focus on Pacific territories.

Dr Yalinu Poya Gow, recipient of the University of Glasgow’s 2020 Future World Changer Award, is a Papua New Guinean scientist recognized internationally for her expertise in green chemistry and climate change policy. Through its research on the production of ammonia, its ambition is to develop solutions to feed the world’s population more sustainably.

At the forefront of the international art scene, Lemi Ponifasio is globally recognized for his progressive application to theatre, politics and his engagement with Indigenous, Maori and Pacific peoples. As a pioneer of community-integrated dance, he has collaborated and performed everywhere, from schools, factories and villages to opera houses, castles and stadiums. Her work responds to indigenous cultural recovery, language, knowledge, thought and narratives that have been silenced or excluded.

The 2022 Summit will also explore the environmental challenges of making and presenting arts activities, with key experts sharing solutions for achieving sustainable practice. Alison Tickell created Julie’s Bicycle, a leading non-profit organization that helps the performing and visual arts industry reduce their environmental impacts. She brings to the Culture Summit her knowledge of bridging sustainability and arts and culture, as well as her experience on various advisory boards and award bodies.

As co-founder and board member of the European House of Culture, an initiative of the European Festivals Association, Kathrin Deventer will share unique insight into culture and its role in civil society engagement . Believing in a cultural Europe that emerges from interactions between people and organizations from all sectors of society, she argues for the responsibility of all sectors to recognize the importance of sustainable culture.

Robbie Gordon is a theater maker who specializes in working both with and for communities. Co-founder of the critically acclaimed ‘Fiercely Curious’ Wonder Fools (The Herald), Director of Creative Engagement at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr, and Producer of Creative Development for the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Robbie brings insight into the practical challenges sustainable creation and performance. theater.

After a discussion on the challenges of performing and presenting art, the final Culture & Sustainability workshop will also respond to the cultural challenges that arise from urban environments, asking how we can imagine a renewable utopia for the 21st century.

Fehinti Balogun will answer this question from his perspective as an actor, theater maker and climate activist. In a digital performance entitled “Can I live? the climate catastrophe, the greatest challenge of our time, was explored through spoken word, rap, theater and animation. Alongside his creative output, Fehinti has toured across England as a speaker, participating in several international climate talks.

As a professor of urban design and planning at Harvard University, Rahul Mehrota is a renowned scholar in the field of urban planning. Over the past thirty years, his long-term engagement and analysis of urban planning in India has resulted in a new conceptualization of cities. He is also the founding principle of RMA Architects and has designed and executed several public and private sector projects, driven by the firm’s commitment to advocacy in the city of Mumbai.

The latest contributor announced in the Sustainability Stream of the Culture Summit is Simon Sharkey, Artistic Director and CEO of internationally acclaimed company “The Necessary Space”. Best known as one of the founding directors of the National Theater of Scotland, where he pioneered the ‘Theatre Without Walls’ methodology, he now travels the world with his ‘Theatre of Opportunity’ which integrates artists into communities to influencing social change, advising on how to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Goals and reimagining the impossible through art, community and connection.

In a truly global conversation, these contributors will share discussions, ideas and solutions from a wide range of cultural, political and social perspectives. The Edinburgh International Culture Summit offers a unique opportunity for these perspectives to influence and implement positive change and lasting impact through cultural policy and investment.

Invitations have now been sent to Ministers of Culture around the world to attend in August, against the backdrop of artists from many countries taking part in the festivals, celebrating 75 years in 2022. Hybrid opportunities are being considered to support those who do not can’t travel. The inclusion of a fully integrated youth program ensures that the Summit hears from extraordinary young artists and cultural leaders sharing their vision for the future and inspiring multinational and intergenerational cultural exchange.

The sixth Edinburgh International Culture Summit will take place from 26-28 August 2022 at the Scottish Parliament.


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