Reshaping Cultural Policies for the Promotion of Fundamental Freedoms and the Diversity of Cultural Expressions in Peru
While Peru has a long tradition of incorporating arts and culture into society, the formalization of the arts started a few decades ago. Today, the country’s cultural and creativity industries (CCIs) are developing at a rapid pace.
The Ministry of Culture of Peru was created in July 2010 against this backdrop: the Peruvian government is eager to harness the creative momentum and support the culture sector through targeted policies and measures. An ambitious cinema law the Congress passed, effectively tripling the resources allocated to the movie industry when enacted, is a prime example.
The Ministry’s main areas of action include contemporary cultural creation and living arts, cultural management and cultural industries. Enhancing opportunities for dialogue between cultural civil society organizations and the government, as well as developing capacity building programs for artists, cultural professionals, and public officials are also among the Ministry’s priorities .
The second Global Report ReIShaping Cultural Policies: Advancing Creativity for Development was launched in Lima (Peru) 14 May 2019. Among two hundred attendees were ministry and public institution representatives, universities and academic centers, civil society organizations and creators. Since the ratification of the 2005 Convention, the country has made “considerable progress in implementing policies and measures throughout the cultural value chain, in particular by encouraging digital creation, creative entrepreneurship and accelerating the modernization of cultural sectors,” said Magaly Robalino, a UNESCO Representative in Peru.
The Ministry of Culture invited stakeholders at the event to participate in the preparation of the next Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR), due in 2020. "It will inspire us many ideas and questions,” said Guillermo Cortés Carcelén, the Vice Minister of Cultural Heritage and Industries, emphasizing that the QPR is more than just a score sheet – but in fact a “tool to think about what is happening in the world while focusing on the evolution of our own cultural sector.” In order to capture the state of cultural policies today as well as draw up recommendations for future action, the opportunity to contribute to the report “must reach everyone so that we arrive at a clear consensus, resulting in better regulations and policies,” he concluded.
The wealth of information that non-governmental actors possess was on display during a civil-society round table discussion that followed. The participants discussed Peru’s cultural policy progress through three focus areas based on the Convention’s monitoring framework: role of civil society, artistic freedom and gender equality. The event was broadcasted on the Ministry of Culture channel "Culture 24.”
Watch the video presenting Peru's quadrennial periodic report and its main recommendations:
From 21 to 24 May 2019, international expert Eduardo Saravia conducted 6 working meetings with UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture, public institutions and actors of the cultural sector. The main objective of this consultation process was, first, to identify cultural actors of the public, private and civil society sectors that have an influence or have taken initiatives to promote Peru’s diversity of expressions. Another objective was to demonstrate the main scope and objectives of the 2005 Convention and show their relevance to the Peruvian context, and to stimulate their participation in the drafting process of Peru’s first Periodic Report for the Convention.
Eduardo Saravia met with government institutions, including one with the Minister of Culture, Ulla Holmquist, and the Vice-Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries, Guillermo Cortés Carcelén. In these meetings, the Peruvian government expressed its commitment and agreement with regard to the drafting process of the Periodic Report. Meetings were then held with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and artistic training schools.
Some sessions were also organized with civil society actors. A dialogue was created with the universities and institutions that have training programmes in cultural management, with the National Network of Culture Points (Red nacional de Puntos de Cultura) and with cultural organizations, including APOC (Peruvian Alliance of Cultural Organizations – Alianza Peruana de Organizaciones Culturales) and EIP (Association of Independent Publishers – Asociación de Editoriales Independientes).
The steps forward and the constitution of the national drafting team will be defined and finalized based on the inputs obtained through this consultation process. The team will make sure to avoid duplication of efforts and build on initiatives already taken by government and civil society in terms of strengthening cultural policies. They will also consider the importance of decentralization, systematization and communication strategy in order to develop an inclusive vision that represent various views and realities of the country’s different territories.
The training workshop for the Peruvian National Team was held from 7 to 11 October 2019, led by Eduardo Saravia, member of the UNESCO Expert Facility. Eleven representatives of the public sector and fifteen representatives of civil society, trade unions and academia were present. More than 70 per cent of the members of the national team who participated in the workshop were women. The objective of this meeting was to create new spaces for dialogue and empower government officials and civil society organization to jointly monitor policies that promote the further development of Peru’s creative sector.
During the training, the team also identified priority areas to be addressed in Peru’s quadrennial periodic report on cultural governance that Parties to the Convention submit every four years. A newly revised periodic reporting form on the implementation of the 2005 Convention aligned with the Monitoring Framework is organized around four goals. At the end of extensive discussions, the National Team identified fifty-seven policies, measures and initiatives that contribute to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions. The members linked each item with the most pertinent goal: there were 23 policies and measures supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture (goal 1), 11 achieving a balanced flow of cultural goods and services and increase the mobility of artists and cultural professionals (goal 2), 7 integrating culture into sustainable development frameworks (goal 3) and 16 promoting human rights and fundamental freedoms (goal 4).
Public and private institutions whose ongoing initiatives align with the 2005 Convention were invited for one-on-one meetings in order to actively contribute their insights and inputs to the Periodic Report. The National Penitentiary Institute, the Peruvian Chamber of Books, and Peru Export and Tourism Promotion Commission have pledged, amongst others, their participation.
From the 25th to the 27th of February 2020, 3 workshops were organized to present the process of elaboration of the quadrennial periodic report and to collect information on challenges and difficulties. Meetings were held with the national team, civil society, professional associations and academia and were led by international expert Eduardo Saravia, national expert Gloria Lescano and the cultural industries specialist of the Ministry of Culture, Silvia Ágreda.
The three workshops gathered 47 representatives of public and private institutions and of civil society organizations. More specifically, 14 representatives of the public sector, 18 representatives of civil society organizations and 15 representatives of professional associations and academia were present. 61,7% of the representatives of the various institutions which participated in the workshops identify with the female gender.
The objective was to present the preliminary findings of the quadrennial periodic report and to collect reflections and contributions on the progress, the work to be done and the challenges related to the implementation of the 2005 Convention. A total of 48 challenges, organized around 10 thematic areas, were collected. The strengthening of the intercultural approach, the promotion of gender equality, the improvement of working conditions for cultural professionals and the strengthening of local cultural management were particularly highlighted.
The UNESCO Chair on cultural heritage and sustainable tourism at the San Martin de Porres University in Lima, Peru, held a ResiliArt debate on 19 April 2020. Through this debate, different voices from the culture sector were gathered including performing arts, visual arts, film and audio-visual, crafts, music, literature, museums, and cultural heritage. The participants highlighted that culture should be integrated into national and international policies, reaffirming art as a powerful tool for health, education and quality of life for Peruvians during and after the lock-down period. The role of cultural rights and labour rights of cultural professionals were also stressed.
The Peruvian University of Applied Sciences organised a ResiliArt debate on 8 May 2020. The debate offered an opportunity to gather information and describe the situation and the needs of artists and cultural professionals in the music industry. Most panellists stated that informality is one of the biggest issues of the Peruvian music industry. The debate stressed additionally that music education was impacted strongly by the pandemic, as there is increasing uncertainty to choose an artistic career. The establishment of an official register of Peruvian artists was deemed a priority to ensure recovery processes. Over 200 viewers watched the debate.
Following the submission of the Quadrennial Periodic Report to UNESCO in July 2020 by the Ministry of Culture, the Peruvian government published a summarized and analyzed version of the report entitled "Policies for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Steps taken and ways forward".
This publication is a technical document that provides a diagnosis of the state of the arts and cultural industries from 2016 to 2019. It includes an analysis of the data collected, infographics and graphs, as well as opinion articles by 4 specialists in each of the objectives of the 2005 Convention and sets out the main challenges and plans for action for the coming years.
The publication aims to provide civil society with an accessible and thought-provoking input on cultural policies. The elaboration of the QPR and this publication have also been the starting point for Peru to count on UNESCO's support for updating the Artist's Law (through the Aschberg Programme) as well as the elaboration of a recovery plan for the cultural industries and the arts sectors (through the Sida II project).
It was prepared with the assistance of the UNESCO Field Office in Lima, thanks to the support from the Government of Sweden.
Read the QPR publication here (only available in Spanish).
On January 21, 2021, a public presentation of the publication "Policies for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Actions Taken and Ways Forward" was held online and broadcasted on the facebook page of the UNESCO office in Lima. This event, moderated by Ms. Sylvia Agreada, from the Directorate General for Creative Industries and the Arts, brought together His Excellency Mr. Alejandro Nayra, Minister of Culture in Peru, Mr. Ernesto Ottone, Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, Mr. Ernesto Fernandez, Representative of the Ministry of Culture in Peru, and Mr. Giorgio Pérez, Director of the UNESCO Office in Lima. Ernesto Fernandez, Representative of UNESCO in Peru, Ms. Fabiola Reyna, Director of the Women's Cinema Festival, Mr. Santiago Alfaro, Director General of Cultural Industries and Arts, Mr. Anibal Martel, of the National Institute of Penitentiaries. This event was an opportunity to share the progress achieved over the last four years in relation to the objectives of the 2005 convention and to present the action plans for the coming years.
Watch the presentation in Spanish here.
Following the publication of the UNESCO Special Edition "Gender & Creativity: Advances at the Edge of the Precipice" on the occasion of Women's Day on March 8, 2021, the UNESCO office in Peru organized three roundtables on Wednesday, March 31, April 7 and 14, 2021 to discuss the status of women working in the cultural and creative sector in Peru.
The first round table addressed the status and particular experiences of women in management in culture. Watch the debate in Spanish here.
The second panel focused on the gender gap in salaries and status. Watch the debate in Spanish here.
The third panel focused on the situation of indigenous women creators. Watch the debate in Spanish here.
In order to contribute to reducing the gender gap in the cultural sector, the UNESCO Office in Lima and the Museum of Art of Lima (MALI) created the UNESCO - MALI Fellowship, offering training in cultural management to women dedicated to female cultural entrepreneurs in Peru.
This scholarship is specifically aimed at women who, despite not having had opportunities for academic training in cultural management, have developed valuable work in favor of culture and cultural rights in their communities.
Since its creation in 2020, this scholarship, which aims to promote women's access to decision-making positions in the cultural sector, has continued to evolve. In its fourth edition, six laureates were designated from among 64 candidates. They are Merly Anccari (32 years old); Blanca Pajuelo (49); Isabel Alacote (46); Graciela Quispe (23); Lizeth Travezán (30); and Ximena Prialé (30).
More information on the scholarship and the 6 awardees is available on the website of the UNESCO office in Lima (in Spanish).
More information on the winners of the past editions available in Spanish below:
In response to the severe impact of COVID-19 on the cultural and creative sectors, Peru’s Ministry of Culture launched the development of a “Covid Recovery Plan for the Arts and the Cultural Industries by 2030”.
This strategic instrument aims to establish a long-term roadmap towards the recovery of the sector. It has been developed with the technical assistance of UNESCO and the participation of national public officers, representatives from the Decentralized Directorates of Culture (DDC), civil society organizations and networks, universities, artists and culture professionals.
The conception of the plan begun in January 2021 with the presentation of Peru’s Quadrennial Periodic Report and followed six stages marked by highly participative processes. A diagnosis identified 8 key challenges to develop and recover the culture sectors was developed and an advisory board of national organizations was created. A consultation process was later developed, through 37 discussion panels involving almost 700 agents from the culture sector in 25 regions and Metropolitan Lima. The contributions obtained were systematized in 8 guidelines for the Recovery Plan published in a Ministerial Resolution in July 2021:
- Development of employment within the arts sector and cultural industries
- Improvement of labor conditions of workers within the arts sector and cultural industries
- Strengthening capacities and information management
- Enhancing the use of cultural spaces
- Strengthening local governments
- Reducing gender inequalities within the arts and cultural industries
- Strengthening artistic training
- Guaranteeing the exercise of cultural rights for vulnerable communities
Within this context, a series of goals, activities and actions were defined in order to operationalize the plan. A second participatory consultation process was launched through 21 working groups attended by more than 500 artists, cultural managers and local public officers. Three meetings were given in indigenous languages: Quechua, Yanesha and Aimara, as well as one in sign language.
On 4 April 2022, the Recovery plan was officially launched during a high-level ceremony in the presence of the Minister of Culture, the General Director of Cultural Industries and Arts; a representative of the Swedish Embassy, the Culture Coordinator of UNESCO Peru, officials from the Ministry of Culture, representatives of civil society organization and cultural groups that participated in the elaboration of the plan.
More information are available on this link.
The Ministry of Culture in Peru in cooperation with the UNESCO office in Lima organized a public hybrid launch of the Global Report, “ReIShaping Policies for Creativity”, on Monday 30 May 2022. The event was opened by Ms Janie Gomez Guerrero, Vice Minister of Cultural Heritage and Cultural Industries, Ms Anna Önnered, Associate Chief of Mission of the Swedish Embassy in Peru and Mr Enrique Lopez Hurtado, Coordinator of the UNESCO Culture Programme in Peru. The presentation of the report was followed by an exchange session with representatives of governmental, civil society and academic Peruvian institutions to address their initiatives highlighted in the Global Report as examples of good practice in terms of policies and measures for creativity.
Read the article here (Spanish only) Ministerio de Cultura y UNESCO presentarán informe sobre el estado del sector cultural y creativo a nivel mundial en contexto de pandemia - Noticias - Ministerio de Cultura - Gobierno del Perú (www.gob.pe)
Link to video recording on social media (in Spanish): https://www.facebook.com/cultura24.tv/videos/presentaci%C3%B3n-nacional-del-informe-re-pensar-las-pol%C3%ADticas-para-la-creatividad/1348490638990890