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Cultural Diversity - a prerequisite for cultural democracy

Working Definition

Cultural diversity is a key objective of the Council of Europe and is frequently being addressed in programmes and measures of national or regional cultural policies. In particular, such polices can address:

  • the pluralistic ethno-cultural or linguistic identity and origin of cultural creators, producers, distributors and audiences;
  • a diversity of  artistic and other cultural  content which, in principle, diverse audiences can have  access to through the media or other distribution channels;
  • the diversity of actors which are responsible for or involved in decision-making and regulating in different fields of the arts, the media and heritage(s), particularly as regards funding artists and their works.

As an introduction to different concepts and issues of Cultural Diversity, you can find below two video clips from the Compendium Youtube channel. They show a discussion between Charles Vallerand (International Federation of Coalitions for Diversity, Montreal/Canada) and Andreas Wiesand (Editor of the Council of Europe / ERICarts "Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends in Europe") which was recorded 2012 by Regina Wyrwoll in Cologne/Germany.


 The Compendium Addresses Cultural Diversity

Since the beginning of the Compendium project, cultural diversity as a component of democratic cultural policy making has been treated as a transversal issue. This means that there is no specific chapter in the Compendium country profiles on cultural diversity. Rather, there are several strands of related information and data found in various sub-sections of individual Compendium country profiles.

Some of this content has been condensed into comparative tables that address e.g.: cultural minority groups, gender equality and language diversity, media pluralism and artistic creativity/content production.

Together with important background documents and links to research and debates, such information could assist national government and NGOs in their efforts to begin monitoring cultural policies and measures which support cultural diversity, as promoted in the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.