National College of Arts celebrates cultural diversity to promote inclusive society

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World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development commemorated at NCA Rawalpindi to promote a comprehensive and inclusive culture policy

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RAWALPINDI — A cultural diversity event was held at National College of Arts (NCA) Rawalpindi to develop a comprehensive and inclusive culture policy.

Key Cultural Stakeholders of twin cities join hands together to address the Role of Diverse Groups in Cultural and Creative Industries and marked the World Cultural Diversity Day. The event was organized by UNESCO and the National College of Arts (NCA) with the support of Danish supported Center for Culture and Development (CKU) and in collaboration with Centre for Culture and Development (C2D), Unicorn Black and Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP). The event particularly focused on The Role of Diverse Groups in Promoting Cultural and Creative Industries.

The objective of the commemoration is to raise awareness of stakeholders on the UNESCO’s 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and to highlight the role of diverse groups of the society including women, youth, persons with disabilities and other minorities in promoting creativity and development.

DR. Nadeem Omar Tarar, Director, NCA welcomed all the participants and discussed the role of NCA with respect to developing the potential of youth for contemporary culture and creative Industries. He highlighted the role of marginalized community of transgender and invited the representative of transgenders Group and Executive Director of WAJOOD, Bubli Malik who talked and demanded the provision for the need of education, skillful knowledge, health facilities and small loans under the Government schemes for transgender community to encourage respective livelihood and business opportunities.

[dt_quote type=”pullquote” layout=”right” font_size=”big” animation=”1″ size=”2″]Pakistan has an incredibly rich and diverse society in terms of culture, creativity and cultural expressions which should be harnessed in the development of a dynamic economy. [/dt_quote]

Ms. Vibeke Jensen, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan, said that Pakistan has an incredibly rich and diverse society in terms of culture, creativity and cultural expressions which should be harnessed in the development of a dynamic economy.

The event aims to highlights the importance of the Government of Pakistan for ratification of the 2005 UNESCO “Convention for the Protection and Promotion of Diversity of Cultural Expression”, she said. She stressed that the 2005 Convention recognizes culture as a mainspring of an inclusive, sustainable development and suggests to Member States to adopt policies and measures that provide access to diverse range of creators to participate in domestic and international marketplaces where their artistic works/expressions can be fully recognized and compensated.

Ms. Fouzia Saeed, Executive Director, Lok Virsa who was the chief guest said that women was an integral part of the sustainable development. She expressed that women should not be afraid of the cultural diversity and should express themselves through creativity. She mentioned that women are repository of the culture as they hold the first place where the culture and diversity gets transferred to the next generation.

UNESCO’s implementing partner, Center for Culture and Development (C2D) aims to promote and to recognize the role of women in creative industries. Ms. Izza Khan, Executive Director, C2D emphasized on the importance and recognition of the diversity of roles of women at all levels for prosperity of the nation.

Mr. Abbas Saleem Khan, Head of Operations, UNICORN BLACK mentioned the success story of his media company with its’s two projects, “Burka Avenger” and Tazzi and their positive impact on youth development.  He described how technology products revolutionize problem-solving via digital mediation mechanisms.

Mr. Atif Sheikh, Executive Director of STEP, emphasized on the role of Persons with Disabilities in Creative Industry. He quoted examples of such talented people who were able to achieve economic independence despite such physical dependencies. He said that Persons with Disabilities need to be accepted as diversified human resource in present modern economic system. “It is duty of the policy makers to focus on creating an enabling environment to mainstream people with diversified capabilities in the economic development.”

Mr. Andrew Senior, UNESCO’s Expert on 2005 Convention and Creative Economy in his message from London mentioned that cultural artifacts are all around us but the 2005 Convention isn’t about artifacts, there are other UNESCO artifacts that cover heritage. The 2005 Convention is about contemporary culture and how our experience of culture in the 21st century presents remarkable opportunities for a cultural manifestation from Pakistan to find an audience in Latin America or Japan or Canada or anywhere in the world, if it resonates in a way that can engage an audience there. So it is about how this trade in cultural experiences has both cultural and economic value, and how these can play a critical role in the development agenda.

More than 100 participants from cultural, creative and industrial sector attended this event.  The panel discussion was followed by an attractive display in the college gallery, where NCA, UNICORN BLACK and STEPS displayed their strength work.

Students of National College of Arts displayed their artwork on cultural diversity. Mr. Mahmood Sheikh Professor for Product/ Package Design curated the exhibition. Unicorn Black showcased ‘Burka Avenger’ (a digital media product in animation medium) with its merchandise including Action Figures, Watches, Caps and Notebooks that was point of attraction for the students and youngsters. At STEPS stall, persons with disabilities presented the process of entrepreneurship through demonstration, guide books and information materials. It was interesting to see live cooking and sale of goods as successful enterprising story on the spot.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030 acknowledges for the first time, the key role of culture, creativity and cultural diversity to solving sustainable development challenges, to advance economic growth and foster social inclusion. This recognition resonates with the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), the 10thanniversary celebrated in 2015.

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