At the invitation of Roberto Cimetta Fund, international experts gathered recently for a conversation hosted by the Association of Cultural Managers of the Canary Islands. The declaration they devised together solidified their mutually held belief that mobility by cultural workers is globally beneficial and a human right. The group agreed to defend and promote the language which they solidified. The United States were exclusively represented by CEC ArtsLink's Executive Director Fritzie Brown.
Canary Islands Declaration on Artistic and Cultural Mobility
On 19th and 20th June 2014 six independent cultural mobility funds from different parts of the world met in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Canary Islands).
The idea of the meeting was initiated by the Roberto Cimetta Fund, in partnership with the Association of Cultural Managers of the Canary Islands. The Government of the Island of Tenerife and the Government of the Canary Islands backed the initiative as well as the Gulbenkian Foundation.
The international mobility actors present were the Safar Fund (Arab world), Art Moves Africa (Africa), CEC ArtsLink (USA), the Russian Theatre Union (Russia), Arts Network Asia (Asia) and the Roberto Cimetta Fund (Euro-Arab zone). All these organisations:
- Underline that mobility is an integral part of cultural rights as stated in international treaties of human rights and should be considered a public responsibility.
- Assert that mobility contributes to artists’ and cultural operators’ freedom of expression and freedom of choice.
- Aim to provide travel grants for individual artists and cultural activists as a way of protecting the diversity of cultural and artistic expression.
- Affirm that facilitating face to face encounters is necessary to set up long term partnerships or alliances based on trust, reciprocity and fair exchange.
- Believe that supporting the mobility of artists and cultural operators serves the public interest and local development.
- Believe that mobility can provide creative learning opportunities that are crucial for the healthy growth of individuals and communities.
- Consider that in addition to long-distance mobility, local and regional mobility initiatives contribute to enhancing a shared sense of humanity.
- Seek to address imbalances and obstacles to mobility by enabling connections between cultural practitioners and the wider community.
To advance this agenda the above-mentioned organisations have agreed to work as a coalition and advocate and encourage the dissemination of these principles.
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