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In Conversation with the CCCI and Friends: Annual Celebration of World Day for Cultural Diversity at City, UoL

From May 18th to May 21st,  the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries (CCCI) at City, University of London celebrated the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (May 21st) with a week-long series of online talks: “In Conversation with CCCI and Friends”. As in the previous year, the annual celebration offered a chance to meet not just some of the CCCI staff but their wider network of industry experts and professionals, this time in an armchair interview format.

The series kicked off with Dr Reiko Yoshida who spoke about the work of the UNESCO and the importance of the UNESCO 2005 Convention. She talked passionately about the difficulties facing cultural professionals following the COVID-19 crises, and how the pandemic has only amplified the challenges that have already existed in the cultural sector.  Yet, in conversation with Dr Jenny Mbaye and Prof.  Andy Pratt, Reiko also emphasised how, despite the difficulties, people have gained a new appreciation for culture as a common good, a healing power, and an ultimate force for resilience and creativity.

The second day saw Dr Ruba Saleh explaining the importance of sustainability in cultural heritage. She posed some important questions and triggered a stimulating discussion led by Prof. Andy Pratt and Dr Jenny Mbaye. Some of the topics covered were around waste and how waste can be used as a vehicle for sustainability in a circular economy. Interestingly, Ruba talked about the misconception that cultural heritage is sustainable by default, whereas, as she noted, we have a long way to go in making heritage truly sustainable and economically valuable in line with the European Green Deal.

The events continued with Aida Esposito’s most insightful presentation on the formation of Creative Enterprise Zones (CEZ) in London — what they set to achieve, the opportunities that they present and the challenges that they face. The conversation was joined by Prof. Andy Pratt and Dr Tarek Virani — who are both very engaged the field — resulting in the most interesting discussion around not only the fantastic opportunities that CEZ are able to offer creative professionals, but also the “ugly” realities of working in the cultural sector, that as Aida pointed out, we are all partially responsible for.

The final day welcomed a CCCI Head to Head session exceptionally opened to the general public to conclude the series of event. As usual, two CCI staff members presented on current research projects in a conversational format: Prof Ros Gill shared insights onto an on-going project entitled ‘Media do not represent me’ dedicated to media representation, gender and intersectionality with Prof Jo Littler acting as her discussant. In the second part of the session, Dr Toby Bennett presented on a current Horizon2020 EU CICERONE project with a contribution entitled ‘Scientific publishing as a global production network’ and Dr Tarek Virani acted as his discussant.

All events were well attended with people joining every day from all over the world, showcasing the densely connected CCCI community including MA CPM alumni, current MA and PhD students, current and previous CCI staff members as well as colleagues across CCI network.

More information on the event series as well as powerpoint presentation of guest speakers can be found here:

sbgd278 • May 21, 2021

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