Amman Southmed CV Regional Conference: The impact of culture in the Southern Mediterranean region


Recently, a big event of the project “SouthMed CV- Communities of Practice for the Public Value of Culture in the Southern Mediterranean” took place in Amman, Jordan, between 1st and 4th December 2017. Different activities were held, the first one was the final meeting with the six organizations that conform the SouthMed CV Consortium: Interarts, Spain, leader of the project; BAC Art Centre, Tunisia; Gudran for Art and Development, Egypt; Khayal, Arts & Education, Lebanon; National Centre for Culture and Arts – NCCA, Jordan; and the German Commission for the UNESCO, Germany. The meeting assessed the impact of the project on the targeted countries – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, and evaluated the results achieved by the sub-granted projects. On the following day, December 2nd, more than thirty representatives from the sub-granted projects took part on different capacity building and networking workshops on the following topics: the current challenges and perspectives of the state of culture in the Southern Mediterranean region; the synergies and partnerships achieved in the region; the contribution of SouthMed CV to culture as a vector of socio-economic development in the region; and the SouthMed CV role in the regional enhancement of Culture and Education. The sub-grantees also attended the Amman Regional Conference by participating in the work groups and in the panels. The work groups discussed several issues raised by the two main panels and their key speakers: On the one hand, ‘Building a cultural system in the Southern Mediterranean region’, and on the other, ‘Culture as a vector for development in the Southern Mediterranean region’. The Conference was held under the patronage of Her Majesty, Queen Noor Al Hussein, on the 3rd and 4th of December. Organized by the National Centre for Culture and Arts – NCCA and Interarts. Local authorities and experts from the Euro-Mediterranean region in the field of culture and development attended: Oussama Rifahi, Board member AFAC; Carole Gürtler, Head of Department Levant, Drosos Foundation; Helena Nassif, Executive director Al Mawred Al Thaqafi; Hicham Bouzid, Artistic director Think Tanger; Christiane Dabdoub, Team leader MedCulture; Ferdinand Richard, Chairman Roberto Cimetta Fund; Ammar Kessab, Senior Governance Specialist African Development Bank; Antonio Lázaro Gozalo, Director Instituto Cervantes Amán; Ouafa Belgacem, CEO and co-founder Culture Funding Watch; Fatin Farhat, Independent art operator and researcher, etc. Their key note speeches, together with the conclusions reached by the working groups, were shared in the plenary session that took place on the second day of the Conference. A video with a compilation of images about the activities and work implemented by eleven of the sub-granted projects, together with the SouthMed CV final publication content were shown on the second day of the conference, which culminated with the conclusions presented by Lina Attel and Mercedes Giovinazzo, directors of NCCA and Interarts, respectively. The conclusions highlighted the capacity of SouthMed CV to enable, strengthen and achieve a cooperation networking system between cultural organizations and other stakeholders across the Southern Mediterranean region, and its impact on different sectors of society. These results indicate the necessity for programs with a main focus on culture as a factor for development to continue funding the region, in order to improve the sustainability of the results achieved, and preferably on a longer duration basis than 36 months, the time allocated to the SouthMed CV project, which is to end in March 2018. SouthMed CV is co-funded by the EU under the regional program Med Culture.