Public Debate & Seminars
AFAI seeks to foster critical dialogue in the arts that is relevant to both South Africa and the continent as a whole. In light of this aim, AFAI hosts on a monthly basis a Public Debate in Cape Town and Johannesburg on various topics in and around arts & culture and development.
AFAI also hosts seminars both in Cape Town and Johannesburg to explore the broad theme of Culture and Development. Our first seminar will inform participants about current advocacy initiatives to include culture in the post-2015 international development agenda, and will then focus on the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. This document is a compelling place to start a conversation about cultural policies and development strategies in contemporary Africa.
The seminars – facilitated by Mike van Graan (AFAI’s Executive Director and UNESCO expert on the 2005 Convention) – aim to inform participants about the themes, engage in critical debate around these and apply the policy documents to South African and/or African conditions. One of the intended outcomes of this seminar programme is to grow the number of South African and African cultural policy experts. These seminars will be ideal for existing and emerging cultural policy practitioners, leaders of arts and culture NGOs and institutions, researchers and academics working in the field of arts and culture, government officials responsible for culture at national, provincial and local levels, staff attached to funding agencies and international institutions of culture, development workers, arts practitioners interested in how policy impacts on their work and other interested parties who seek to broaden their understanding of the African cultural context and contribute to the development of theory and policies in this space.
Future seminars will deal with the following themes: Culture, Development, the Arts and the Creative Industries – making the links, defining the contradictions; Culture, Democracy and Human Rights – understanding the relationship between these: Culture, Climate Change and Development; Development, Culture and Tradition and Culture, the Arts and Conflict.