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Building on Indonesia's Cultural Policy with the 2005 Convention


"The diversity of cultural expressions not only shows the identity of a nation, but also allows creative people to contribute towards their country by expressing themselves and sometimes they become instrumental in promoting change in societies," Irawan Karseno, from the Jakarta Art Council, said when he learned more about the 2005 Convention in a recent high level UNESCO workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia (1-3 March, 2016). Read the full story:

While assessing and revisiting the country's cultural policy during the 3-day workshop creative professionals shared personal perspectives on the importance of creative industries: ''Working in the arts allows me to understand the importance of thinking of the cultural community as an ecosystem which supports each other. And in this ecosystem, everyone plays a different role and we complete one another,'' Felencia Hutabarat, member of the Indonesian Art Coalition said.

Among the high level officials participating in the workshop, made possible under the Swedish funded project:'Enhancing Fundamental Freedoms through the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,' were His Excellency Mr Anies Baswedan, Minister of Education and Culture, His Excellency Mr Triawan Munaf, Head of Indonesia's Creative Economy Agency, Her Excellency Johanna Brismar Skoog, Ambassador of Sweden to Indonesia, and Mr Bernard Alens Zako, Head of Culture Unit of UNESCO Office in Jakarta.

As a Party to the 2005 Convention, Indonesia has to submit a periodic report every four years on the achievements and challenges encountered in implementing the 2005 Convention. Local expert, Professor Aman Wirakartakusumah, who has been assisting the Government of Indonesia in the preparation of the report, noted that the Convention had become a an important strategic instrument for developing overall cultural policies and measures. Professor Wirakartakusumah said that the 12 elements covered in the Convention were driving the development of the creative economy - leading towards the sustainable development of Indonesia. The process of preparing the first periodic report is realised as "a wakeup call' to many stakeholders on the importance of culture for national development and international relation, he noted.

With the first report due in 2016, workshop participants noted the invaluable access they had to key players through this participatory reporting exercise - giving them a voice in informed cultural policy making processes. Thus, more than 100 participants engaged in lively debates on revamping cultural policies, the current state of affairs of Indonesia's culture sector, and the future vision for enhancing creativity in the country.

Indonesia is known for its thriving film, music, fashion and arts scene in cities like Yogyakarta, Bandung and Jakarta. The country has one of the most vibrant visual arts scene in South East Asia with biennales held in Yogyakarta and in Jakarta as well as the Bandung Creative City Forum. More recently, the nation's publishing industry has been growing, following Indonesia's role as Guest of Honor at the Frankfurt book fair in 2015.

In 2013, Indonesia exported cultural goods worth more than US$ 900 million, as evidenced in UNESCO's recent Report on The Globalisation of Cultural Trade

Recognizing that some 10 percent of Indonesia's GDP comes from the creative industries - the country forged ahead with the creation of a new body which deals with the business of creative industries.

The training resulted in the development of a draft outline, table of contents and a broad inventory of cultural policies. Concluding the workshop, Indonesia's Director General of Culture, Hilmar Farid, highlighted the formation of the core drafting team for the periodic report, stating it was the first step of a long commitment for policy dialogue between civil society and the Government and the starting point for developing the country's national culture policy.

Made up of 27 people, the periodic report drafting team includes officials from various government institutions (Education and Culture, Tourism, Youth and Sport, Information, Foreign Affairs, Law and Human Rights, Creative Economy Agency, and the Central Bureau of Statistics) and representatives of public institutions, civil society members and media professional associations.

''Since ratification of the 2005 Convention in 2012, Indonesia has taken a leading role in expanding on creative industries through, among others, the organization of the World Culture Forum (Bali 2013) as well as the creation of a national Creative Economy Agency (Bekraf). These are among many 'good practices' that could be shared in the country's first Quadrennial Periodic Report due this year,'' reports Anupama Sekhar, Director of the Culture Department of Europe-Asia Foundation (ASEF) and one of the two international experts leading the training, along with Charles Vallerand, Executive Director of the Canadian Coalition for Cultural Diversity and General Secretary of the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity.

The data and information collected the periodic report will inform the next 2017 edition of the Global Report published every two years in order to share information on how innovative policies for the diversity of cultural expressions are being pursued around the world.

This latest workshop, organized by UNESCO Jakarta and the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, is part of a series, running in 12 countries between from 2015 to 2017: Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cuba, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.

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