The promotion of Ecuadorian culture abroad
The Office of International Relations in the Ministry of Culture was created in 2010 with the goal of promoting ecuadorian culture abroad through the participation of artists, writers and other cultural professionals in international events and through the participation of the Ministry of Culture in all international organizations and agencies that work in the cultural area. In february 2012, the Direction of International Relations and Cultural Cooperation was created in order to better serve these goals.
As the authority in the area of Culture in the country, the Ministry of Culture has worked jointly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to establish strategies for the promotion of Ecuadorian culture abroad and for international cooperation. Under this framework, the Direction of International Relations has supported the mobility of artists, writers and other cultural professionals in the world through their participation in all types of cultural events, including shows and concerts, art exhibitions, book fairs and academic events. Additionally, the Office has established a working relationship with a variety of international organizations, including United Nations (UNESCO, UNICEF), the Organization of American States, the Organization of Iberoamerican States, the Andean Community of Nations, the Union of South American Nations, Southern Common Market, among others. Cooperation with these agencies focuses on the development of policies that value culture as an asset to every national economy and on the exchange, protection and promotion of cultural expressions throughout the world.
Each one of the areas within the Ministry and all other public institutions that work in the cultural field, like the Ministry Coordinator of Patrimony, the National Institute of Cultural Patrimony, the National Council of Cinematography, among others, maintain important relationships with other countries and international organizations.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
There have been a number of challenges in this process, including the lack of institutional processes and mechanisms, and the absence of previous and sistematized information about this area.
Since the creation of the Office of International Relations in 2010, there have been about 700 cultural actors that have traveled abroad in representantion of the Ministry of Culture. Additionally, the Ministry of Culture has signed eight international instruments with other countries including Bolivia, Indonesia, Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and China that establish cultural exchanges among the parties. Finally, there have been a number of advances in the multilateral area, including an ambitious plan to contruct an Andean information system that can measure the importance of culture in the economy, among other aspects of culture, with useful indicators.