Kenya to discuss “Creativity Amidst Crisis” during World Arts Day

The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO, in partnership with UNESCO is hosting a virtual dialogue targeting artists and creative arts professionals to commemorate the World Art Day on 15th April 2021. The objective of the online dialogue is to celebrate the work of Kenyan artists and share experiences among artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a negative impact on the creative cultural sector, especially following the closure of cultural and entertainment spaces.

Entitled “Creativity Amidst Crisis – The Arts Matter”, the dialogue will share ideas on creativity in the digital environment, exchange experiences by artists, and enhance awareness of the importance of developing legislation, policies and measures to support and protect Kenyan artists, especially during times of crisis.  It will also feature a short interlude of music and performance.

Inspiration for the discussions will be drawn from the visionary UNESCO 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist, which guides Member States to improve the professional, social and economic status of artists through the implementation of policies and measures such as: training, social security, employment, income and tax conditions, mobility and freedom of expression. The discussion on art in the digital environment will include guidance from the newly published UNESCO Open Roadmap for the implementation of the UNESCO 2005 Convention in the Digital Environment, which is a tool to help Parties to the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions meet the challenges and seize the opportunities offered by the digital environment.

World Art Day, a celebration that promotes the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art, was proclaimed at the 40th session of UNESCO General Conference in 2019. It aims to reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. This edition of World Art Days is unique, as it will be held on Africa Union’s Year for Arts, Culture and Heritage “Levers for Building the Africa we want” under Aspiration 5 of Agenda 2063 which envisions “An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics.” It will also contribute to the United Nations International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development.

UNESCO recognizes culture as a key pillar of development and has several culture Conventions and instruments that provide a unique global platform for international cooperation to protect and promote cultural heritage and fostering of creativity. The 2005 UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, in particular, calls upon Parties to put in place and implement policies that recognize and optimize the overall contribution of culture and creative industries to economic and social development.

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