Dystopia to Utopia: Our Changing Cultural Landscape
18 June 2020
Ithra & UNESCO virtual debate explores the new world of art and culture post-COVID-19
UNESCO office for GCC and Yemen has partnered with the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) to host a global ResiliArt debate – Dystopia to Utopia: Our Changing Cultural Landscape – to address the significant impact of the pandemic on cultural communities from an Arab World perspective.
Hosted by Ithra, and involving cultural leaders from the Arab World and around the globe, the debate will take place on 18 June at 8pm and discuss the opportunities and challenges confronting the creative and cultural industries at this critical time.
As cultural communities across the globe emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown into a world vastly different from the one we knew only months ago, many are questioning what this new reality means for the livelihoods, the institutions and the future of the arts and culture sector.
To help these communities better understand and navigate the post-COVID world, this virtual ResiliArt discussion and debate will focused on the challenges and opportunities confronting all who have a stake in our cultural and creative industries within Saudi Arabia and the Arab World.
On World Art Day, April 15, 2020, UNESCO launched ResiliArt, a global movement that began with a virtual debate about the far-reaching impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector and aims at supporting artists during and following the crisis. The inaugural debate addressed the social and economic impact on culture professionals and their rights, including copyright protection, the effect of digitization of content, and freedom of expression. The ResiliArt aims to ensure the continuity of conversations, data sharing, and advocacy efforts long after the pandemic subsides. Cultural industry professionals are encouraged to join the movement and replicate the ResiliArt debate sessions in their respective regions and thematic focus by following publicly available guidelines. Since its launch by UNESCO hundreds of Cultural industry professionals joined the movement and replicated the ResiliArt series in their respective regions and thematic focus.
ResiliArt sheds light on the current state of creative industries amidst crisis through an exclusive global discussion with key industry professionals while capturing experiences and voices of resilience from artists – both established and emerging – on social media. Together, it raises awareness about the far-reaching ramification of COVID-19 across the sector and aims at supporting artists during and following the crisis.
The debate Dystopia to Utopia: Our Changing Cultural Landscape – will bring together five of the world’s foremost art and culture professionals to discuss our current landscape and potential paths forward in social, economic terms from the perspective of the Arab World.
The 90-minute program, moderated by London-based writer and curatorLaura Egerton, will address with the panelists topics such as how COVID-19 has affected the consumption, production and distribution of culture, and the current and future roles of institutions, governments and the private sector in supporting the creative economy.
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization