4.2.7 Intercultural dialogue: actors, strategies, programmes
In 2007, the Arts and Theatre Institute was appointed as the national coordination point by the Ministry of Culture for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 in the Czech Republic (CR). It was the main organiser of the national project Together across Cultures in 2008. A national strategy for the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in the CR was established and a national project organised on its basis. The project priorities were:
The objective of the activities of the Year of Intercultural Dialogue in the CR was to expand awareness and deepen the knowledge about the importance of intercultural dialogue leading to mutual enrichment, tolerance, being more open in society and an overall improvement in the quality of life. A long-term objective is to change from a multicultural society into an intercultural society – in other words, to change from a situation where various ethnic minorities live separately in society to one where mutually positive dialogue and interaction really happens. On the basis of this strategy, seven projects by six non-governmental organisations were directly supported from EU funds and state sources within the national project. There were projects of an educational nature like the project by People In Need entitled Programmes of Multicultural Education in the Czech Republic or the project Intercultural Education – an extension and updating of a handbook for teachers. For more on intercultural education projects in the CR, see also chapter 8.3.3.
Other cultural projects were Babylon Fest by Brno Cultural Centre and Colour Planet Festival by the Counselling Centre for Integration in Ústí nad Labem.
In 2008, as part of the national project Together Across Cultures, the Portal of Intercultural Dialogue was founded, the purpose of which was to serve as the main communication channel for the year. The portal was maintained and at present serves as an open platform mainly for NGOs and for NGO activity in the field of culture and education directed at intercultural dialogue, which contributes to fulfilling the objectives of migration and integration policy in the CR. The portal is designed as an open forum offering space for discussions, publishing opinions and comments, and promoting events by organisers themselves. By presenting activities in the fields of culture, art and education the portal is intended to foster the integration of foreigners and the Roma community. The portal also takes the European framework into account and maps activities at the level of the EU and other member states (e.g. strategies, best practices, European networks). It is funded by the MC and run by the Arts Institute. http://www.mezikulturnidialog.cz
The International Year of Convergence of Cultures 2010 was an opportunity for UNESCO to include ten projects from the Czech Republic that are positive examples and original projects that encourage cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
The projects are: