Monday, 10 October 2011

Chile: a World Summit on Arts and Culture and Student Uprising...

Chile...a World Summit on Arts and Culture
The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) has announced that Chile would host the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture in its capital, Santiago, on 13-16 January 2014.

This will be the first time that the World Summit has been staged in Latin America and will be presented in Santiago’s award-winning EstaciĆ³n Mapocho Cultural Centre. One of IFACCA’s most significant initiatives, the World Summit on Arts and Culture provides national arts councils, ministries of culture and other agencies with an opportunity to discuss key issues affecting public support for the arts and creativity. Previous World Summits on Arts and Culture has been held in Canada (2000), Singapore (2003), England (2006), South Africa (2009) and Australia (2011).

Provisionally entitled Creative Citizens: Technology and Culture for Diversity, the theme for the 6th World Summit will address the current context of globalisation and the challenges in the cultural arena, specifically in relation to safeguarding and protecting cultural diversity and cultural identities. New technologies in culture represent an opportunity to impact positively on the visibility and legitimatisation of cultural identities, to foster increased cultural diversity, and to enhance access, production and exchange of cultural goods. At the General Assembly, IFACCA also launched WorldCP, an international database of cultural policies [].
For further information please see 

Hola hermanas y hermanos en Chile y la solidaridad de artistas y profesionales de la salud en el Reino Unido ...
Camila Vallejo on a march in Santiago held on the anniversary
of the Pinochet coup that toppled
President Salvador Allende in 1973. Photograph: Aliosha Marquez/AP
Chile...Girls Demand Free University Education
‘It was the most beautiful moment, all of us in school uniform climbing over the fence, taking back control of our school. It was such an emotional moment, we all wanted to cry.’ Angelica Alvarez 14
With the IFACCA announcement freshly ringing in our ears, its worth noting how a group of teenage girls kick started what is known in Chile as  the ‘Chilean Winter’. There’s not been much in the UK press on this story, with our focus facing towards the ‘Arab Spring’, but here’s a synopsis.

A group of young girls have occupied Carmela Carvajal primary and secondary school for five months fighting for a single goal: free university education for all. The girls took a vote on their action too, with a 10/1 in favour of action, and their days are organised through a democartic voting system for managing all aspects of their lives, but their argument is simple; that education is recognised as a common right for all, not a consumer good to be sold on the open market.

This is part of a vast student uprising across Chile, with weekly protest marches gathering between 50,000 and 100,000 students. The girls are still having a rich education, supplemented by yoga and salsa and music gigs. There’s an excellent article on this story by Jonathan Franklin at:

So, with a World Summit on Arts and Culture and a democratic Student Uprising, lets hope that the IFACCA board see it in their remit to explore how culture and the arts are a force for social change, and if a core part of their agenda is about Creative Citizens and Technology, then this is potentially an exciting and provocative summit and one where our ever-evolving arts/health/well-being agenda is central.

And whilst use of facebook and twitter is being used as evidence of dissent in the UK resulting in lengthy prison sentences for those who advocate civil dissobedience, in Chile we can see how creative citizens have in fact harnessed this technolgy. Here are two links to the student leader, Camila Vallejo Dowling's blog and twitter...!/camila_vallejo  

Anyone Who Has a Heart is a light sculpture that displays your heart rate. It is a landmark and signature artwork sited at the entrance to the new Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. The sculpture aims to catch attention through its form, textures and movement. giving a sense of fun and playfulness for all ages. Walking around the sculpture triggers sensors and changes the light display. Holding onto the stainless steel hand grips monitors your heart rate and translates that into a red light display synchronised with your pulse. It can also tell you the time as every hour, the sculpture turns into a clock. The sequence is explained on floor panels along with information about the heart rate of a range of animals.

It was commissioned by Lime in collaboration with the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. This stunning work was made by artist Andrew Small commissioned through a special arts programme allocation from the hospital’s Charitable Funds.

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