KHF Outreach
2nd EUROMEDINCULTURE(s) ARTS FORUM Opens in Jordan
4th November 2012
Opening Ceremony EUROMEDINCULTURE(s) ARTS FORUM Nov 4, 2012
 

The National Center for Culture and Arts (NCCA) hosted the EUROMEDINCULTURE(s) ARTS FORUM under the Patronage of Jordan’s Minister of Culture and Minister of State for Media Affairs H.E. Sameeh Maaytah November 4-6, 2012.  The opening ceremony was held on Sunday at the Royal Cultural Center in Amman.

The three day conference will provide artists from nine different countries with the opportunity to share success stories, good practices and artistic productions that organizers hope will lead to co-projects among participants.

NCCA Director Lina Attel says that artists have an important role to play at this particular time in history:

“At this stage of our lives where we are witnessing a lot of conflicts, war, revolutions, and atrocities against humanity, we feel that the artists representing the visual and performing arts can play a major role in shaping attitudes and in shaping humanitarian values through the performing arts and also through networking.”

Attel says that an independent art fund needs to be established in Jordan, similar to the arts council in the Netherlands.

Minister of Culture Sameeh Maaytah remarked that work is being done to modify the art fund temporary law to be submitted to the upcoming Parliament.

During his formal address at the opening ceremony, Maaytah underlined the importance of artists meeting in a climate of dialogue and friendship.

During the conference participants from France, Germany, Bulgaria, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia, Slovenia and Jordan are meeting in panel sessions and professional workshops to dialogue. This year’s theme is “Arts for Social Change and Development”.

The 11 workshops offer an array of topics including "Cultural education & artistic projects: participation of young people", "Children’s Theatre with a focus on the Arab World, Business and Culture", and "Art and Culture as a tool to connect and a path towards development".

Every evening participating countries will present performances for the general public to attend at both the Royal Cultural Center and at the NCCA.

Christian Schnurer, a sculptor from Munich, Germany says freedom of movement for cultural activities worldwide is a major concern he would like to discuss during this week’s conference:

“Not for me, as a German I can go where I want but it’s to give invitations to come to us. It gets very hard to get a Palestinian to Germany…even if you just want to have Turkish artists come to Germany you will have some problems to get them in.”

Schnurer says he would like to see Visa restrictions removed for artists traveling to other countries on art programs.

Bulgarian Actress Elena Pap directs the Fire Theatre Mime Company in Sofia. She says her reason for traveling to Jordan to attend the conference is so she can interact with fellow artists:
 
“People are exchanging culture, they’re exchanging humanity, they’re exchanging beliefs,” she explained. “So that’s why always when we speak about understanding, about tolerance, about all these topics, culture comes first, arts come first.”

Jordanian actress Margo Asslan says it’s important for Jordanian artists to get to know artists from other countries and to learn more about their cultures in order to expand their craft. She added that could be achieved through sharing their experiences with one another:

“We take experience and give experience.”

This is the second of three planned conferences put on by the project EUROMEDINCULTURE(s) ARTS FORUM: SHARING & CREATING 2011/2013.  
 
EUROMEDINCULTURE(s) is a network of public authorities, universities, research centers and NGOs working in the field of culture, which are located in Europe and the Mediterranean region. 
 
There are now 29 members representing 21 countries in the network that was established back in 2004 by the ADCEI (Association for European and International Cultural Development) with the support of the European Union. 
 

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