Artists from Asia and the Caribbean explore networking opportunities for creating new cultural values


Artists from Asia and the Caribbean explore networking opportunities for creating new cultural values

“In art, the journey is as important as a result!” This was one of the main ideas shared during the International Creative Exchange Caribbean (ICEC) 2020 Online –the Asia Connection event, which took place on 27 and 28 November.

Organized by the UNESCO Transcultura Programme and the South-South Collective of Jamaica, the encounter brought together artists from Asia and the Caribbean in a productive exchange of ideas and experiences. The two-day event allowed artists to share their work with arts producers, festival directors, and cultural managers from Asia through virtual platforms.

Creators from countries such as Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Belize, Aruba, United Kingdom, China, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea had a one-on-one session discussing networking opportunities in the cultural and creative sectors.

Musicians, animators, writers, dancers and performers identified festivals, platforms and events in Asia and the Caribbean as spaces for connecting and sharing their work. They advocated finding common ground and understanding each other’s market to facilitate those connections. In this regard, some of them proposed to build creative residencies to promote integration and cultural exchanges.

Participants from Asia highlighted the existing opportunities for Caribbean artists in the growing and diverse Asian market and debated strategies to make those connections sustainable. Entering a new market –as one of the artists stressed– requires knowing that market, establishing an artistic mission statement, and realizing the roots that define artwork and identity to preserve the artists’ authenticity and creation.

In two days, artists highlighted the importance of deconstructing culture and creating something new based on the common and the diverse. This proposal is coherent with the cultural exchanges and twinning ideas promoted by Transcultura in identifying shared histories and producing new partnerships.

At the heart of the conversation was the need to use every available tool to win the audience’s soul and bear in mind the evolving nature of culture.

The richness of Caribbean culture was underlined while artists identified outstanding artistic initiatives across the subregion. Artists agreed on the capacity of Transcultura to help build bridges between the creative and the business sectors and increase visibility as a result of these initiatives.

This experience was the first of two forums. The second one, a two-day forum on the Zoom and Airmeet platforms, will be held on December 12 on the theme “Connecting the Caribbean with Europe,” focusing on bringing together multidisciplinary performing artists from the Caribbean, and European markets.

Implemented by the UNESCO Regional Office of Culture for Latin America and the Caribbean in collaboration with the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean in Kingston and funded by the European Union, Transcultura was launched on 1 January 2020 to harness diversity and build bridges between people and cultures from different linguistic areas.