Colombia has partnered with UNESCO under the project “Enhancing fundamental freedoms through the diversity of cultural expressions” (2014-2018) which resulted in the completion of Colombia’s first periodic report, submitted in 2017 to UNESCO. The first report gives an account of the policies and measures implemented in the country and successfully brought to light Colombia’s booming creative industries and political commitment towards fostering an environment to support and promote the culture and creative sectors.
Colombia has recently put forward the Integral Policy of the Creative Economy, known as the Orange Economy Policy (1834 law of 2017), which was signed in may of 2017 and led to the establishment of the National Council of the Orange Economy in 2018. The policy notably intends to provide easier access to funding for creative workers and to help create sustainability for the agents of the cultural and creative industries. Colombia has also placed emphasis on the implementation of coordinated actions between the central and regional governments.
The second QPR will be an opportunity for Colombia to reflect on the Orange Policy, to identify the challenges as well as the best practices. Areas of action for future policy priorities in Colombia include the strengthening of sectoral associative processes, strategies for the circulation of cultural goods and services at the global and local level or establishing technical trainings for cultural professionals.
Recognising the need to build statistics related to the role of women in the culture and creative sectors, Colombia will undertake an additional report to account for the status of women’s participation in the audio-visual and publishing sectors.
A national training workshop was held in Bogota, Colombia, from 16-18 of October 2019. The workshop, which gathered cultural professionals, statisticians, ministerial representatives and civil society actors, aimed at strengthen capacities on cultural policy monitoring.
The three-day training focused specifically on the elaboration of Colombia’s quadrennial periodic report on the implementation of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Part of the workshop was dedicated to discuss the state of gender equality in the audio-visual and publishing industries. Participants were introduced to methodologies of gender-disaggregated data collection.
Colombia’s first periodic report (QPR) was submitted in 2017 and demonstrated the country’s commitment to creative industries as an enabler of sustainable development. Notably, the report presented the Social Laboratories of Culture and Entrepreneurship (LASO), a programme intended to encourage and support the creation and consolidation of collaborative networks by young people for the creation, production and commercialization of cultural content using new technologies. In addition to a specific focus on gender, which will lead to a separate study on gender in the audio-visual and publishing sectors, a special attention will be paid to culture and creativities in the digital environment.
In recent years, Colombia has launched its Orange Economy policy, which aims to strengthen the culture and creative industries and prioritizes culture on the political agenda. Given this momentum for arts and culture, it is an opportune time for Colombia to monitor and evaluate its cultural policies, capture best practices and challenges on the ground, and share the wealth of knowledge and findings in the country’s second QPR.
Eduardo Saravia, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility, facilitated the national training workshop.
Three ResiliArt Colombia were organised by Somos Tejedores Solidarios, on 23 April, 7 May and 4 June 2020. Somos Tejedores Solidarios is a collective composed of artists and cultural managers based on participatory leadership, collective intelligence, collaboration and self-organisation. As part of the initiative #artecuida2020, Somos Tejedores Solidarios joined the ResiliArt movement to strengthen the resilience of artists and cultural professionals to the enormous challenges posed by the Covid-19 health crisis.
Prominent leaders from different disciplines such as theatre, literature, dance, and visual arts participated in the debates, which highlighted the need to formalize the cultural and creative sectors, in particular with regards to the digital environment. Fundraising and economic resources, sharing knowledge and support and solidarity to cultural associations were stressed as key points to plan for recovery.
More than 1 000 viewers watched the debates. Johanna Mahuth Tafur Sequera, from Arte Cuida 2020, explained that “From the beginning, it was clear to us – ResiliArt is not a place for complaining. It is a space for sharing ideas, staying positive and building solidarity. What started as a movement with no followers has quickly become a community. First debate attracted 300 viewers. The second one welcomed over 1000 viewers. We believe that it is our positive attitude that attracted people. It also reflects how much our community needed an opportunity to talk frankly.”
How has the pandemic affected the Afro-descendant artists and their cultural expressions in Latin America? UNESCO Quito invited five artists from Colombia and Ecuador to share their thoughts on 3 June 2020.
The ResiliArt dialogue generated many concrete suggestions. Panelists called for a better representation of afro-descendant artists in the arts and cultural landscape of each country including national collections, awards, and projects funded by public institutions. The integration of afro-descendant arts and culture in the educational curricula was also mentioned as a priority in order to foster a sense of appreciation for diverse expressions and recognition of such art forms as part of the national culture among children.
Many expressed the need for networks of afro-descendant artists and creators. By having a structured collective, they hope to raise their status among the Latin American societies and have a stronger voice in the public policy design processes. The debate, streamed live on Facebook, was followed by over 3,000 viewers and received around 100 questions and comments.
The official presentation of the main findings of Colombia's second Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) was held online on 10 November 2020 as part of the Global Forum of Arts, Culture, Creativity and Technology. This high-level event brought together Ms. Carmen Inés Vàsquez, Minister of Culture of Colombia, Mr. Felipe Buitrago, Vice-Minister of Creativity and Orange Economy of Colombia, and Mr. Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Culture. This presentation was the opportunity to highlight the progress made since the first report submitted by Colombia to UNESCO in 2017, to share an analysis of the measures in light of the objectives of the 2005 Convention and to present the priority areas of action of the country to strengthen the cultural sector in the next four years.
Building on the conclusions of the periodic report, the Ministry of Culture of Colombia conducted a study on the status and level of inclusion of women in the publishing and the audio-visual sectors. This study applied rigorous data collections methodologies from a wide range of actors from the public and private sectors as well as civil society organizations to establish the levels of inclusion of women in these two industries. From this perspective, the study is developed around three components:
- a conceptual framework on the analysis of public action;
- an overview that integrates a review of academic debates on the subject;
- an analysis of women’s participation in the two sectors.
The first conclusions of this study were addressed in August 2021 on the occasion of the Bogotá International Book Festival with the participation of Angelica Mayolo Obregón, Minister of Culture of Colombia, and Helena Storm, Ambassador of Sweden. The results of the study were also shared during the Global Forum on Arts, Culture, Creativity and Technology (GFACCT) in September 2021.
Watch here the presentation at the Bogotá International Book Festival (in Spanish).
Colombia hosted launches of the 2022 Global Report, “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity”, in three different cities: in Medellin on 19 May 2022, in Cali on 20 May 2022 and in Pereira on 23 May 2022 and prioritized a local approach to the awareness raising initiatives on the 2005 Convention and transformative actions for gender equality in CCIs. The launches were combined with a presentation of the report on the participation of women in the editorial and audiovisual sectors in Colombia, which was carried out as a follow-up action to the quadrennial periodic report submitted in 2020. These events mobilized a total of 161 participants. They gave rise to inclusive roundtable discussions on gender equality in the editorial and audiovisual sectors, notably to collect information by the participants around four questions: (i) What are women’s main barriers and factors of discrimination and exclusion in the region? (ii) What type of instruments and policies at the local level can reinforce women’s participation in the two sectors? (iii) What are the most significant effects of gender-based discrimination? (iv) What structural changes are needed to address gender gaps?
On 20 May 2022, the UNESCO Office in Addis Ababa and the Ministry of Culture and Sport of Ethiopia hosted a national launch of the 2022 Global Report, “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity”, at the Ale Felege-Selam School of Fine Art and Design in Addis Ababa. The event gathered a total of 86 participants including government and civil societies stakeholders and representatives from UNESCO. The event was opened by the State Minister of Culture and Sport who reiterated the important role of the cultural and creative industries for the country’s economy and to achieve sustainable development goals. The presentation of the Global Report, led by the national focal point of the 2005 Convention for Ethiopia, was followed by a presentation of the national quadrennial periodic report process by a representative from the Ethiopian Women’s Visual Artist Association and national experts mobilized in its elaboration, and concluded by an exchange session with the audience.
Link to Facebook live video recording (in Amharic): https://www.facebook.com/unescoofficeaddis/videos/1081855679064856/?extid=CL-UNK-UNK-UNK-AN_GK0T-GK1C