Syrian Entity for arts and culture News:

The Eighth Cultural Policy in The Arab Region Program Report 2016

The Eighth Report on Cultural Policies in the Arab Region provides an overview of cultural policy developments in 12 Arab countries between January 1st and December 31st, 2016. The report lists updates on all eastern Arab countries (Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq), several western Arab countries (Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania), as well as Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen.

The report is part of the Cultural Policy in the Arab Region program, launched by Al Mawred Al Thaqafy in collaboration with the European Cultural Foundation in 2009. The program aims to build a database to facilitate planning and coordination across the Arab region, and support lobbying groups pushing for the improvement of cultural policies in their respective countries. Ettijahat Independent Culture cooperates on the research and knowledge aspect of the program, and prepares the cultural policy reports.

The 2016 report focuses on four main aspects:

- Forms and the foundation of civil and professional organizations: including developments related to the legislation and laws governing the work of artists, trade unions, and the freedom of cultural and artistic organizations in the Arab region

- Spreading culture more widely: This axis discusses the spread and availability of cultural infrastructure, programs and initiatives for many of the countries covered by the report to ascertain how densely focused they are in cities and capitals distant from villages and marginalized communities and areas, plus attempts at enforcing change on policy and strategic levels.

- Freedom of speech and cultural rights deals with the status of freedom of expression, both cultural and artistic, in countries covered in the report, as well as violations against artists and intellectuals in 2016. Additionally, it covers positive developments, including the protection of cultural and art-related rights in countries striving to strengthen them.

- Supporting culture: financial support for arts and culture, especially government budgets for culture if information about them is available. This section also evaluates the amount of capital invested into culture and art, and what that says about a country’s priorities.

The report is divided into four sections. It starts by summarizing the status of political rights and civil and cultural freedoms. It then focuses on the four main sections in the report, providing an overview of cultural and political developments—some of which were violations and counterproductive cultural policy’s evolution in the region. On the other hand, the report also showcased promising developments pushing cultural policy improvement forward. Finally, it summarizes the most prominent conclusions related to cultural policy, as well as some aspects worth studying to ascertain the reality of cultural policy in the immediate future.

To view the report in English, please download the attached below.

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