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Policies of Culture and Education in Catalonia: difficulties of interrelation

The relations established between the policies of culture and education in Catalonia have been researched very little in general. However, in the context of the current society, knowledge, artistic and cultural practices and communication have a relevant role and it is important to study how we have socially constructed the models of education and cultural transfer. We go on the hypothesis that the juridical frameworks established between the years 1980 and 2010 do not respond to the demands of today in the fields of education and culture. The most significant international political discourses in the field of education and culture recommend to advance in more coordinated and complementary policies. The local innovative policies point at the direction to take and draw attention to the potentialities of this working approach in cooperation with the cultural sector and education. However, they do not manage to outpace the level of good practices and become standardized.

The objective of this research, conducted by Gemma Carbó, has been to identify the factors of divergence and demonstrate the difficulties of interrelation through the study of laws regarding education and culture and the analysis of the qualified opinions of experts, technicians and political representatives. The results of the research confirm that the dialogue between the environments of education and culture in Catalonia is not fluid or pronounced. The causes are mostly of political or sociological nature. The changes in the legislation can notably contribute to improving coordination and complementarity from a different philosophical and political perspective in various fields of public policies: framework laws, administration of culture and education, professional training and recognition, management and protection of the buildings, the landscape, laws of communication, laws of education and social participation in institutions of education, legislation on agents of culture and education.

In addition, the research has allowed us to confirm that despite the difficulties in interrelation, we can systematize and propose some parameters for cultural education. The strategic axes that should lay the foundation for future policies of culture and education, point to a local world and the challenge of cultural citizenship in the first place. Training in the values of coexistence in multicultural democratic contexts as an actually shared task among all social actors. A second parameter is that of coordinated action for the development of cultural and communicative competencies of kids, young people, adults and the elderly, guaranteeing options of education of high quality which consider the presence of experimentation in arts and sciences, cultural and natural, material and immaterial heritage for everyone from a perspective of appreciation for diversity, effective communication and intercultural dialogues. Lastly, the results of the analysis indicate a third way of political action which should manage and strengthen programs of culture and education that value creativity and conduct research in such fields as theater pedagogy, the body and movement, the education of expressiveness in all languages. 

Las Américas

Las Américas is an exposition based on graphical materials from the EFE agency and from other archives specialized in the Latin American area to elaborate a visual chronicle created with the contribution of women for the construction of America and the recognition of fundamental rights; women as protagonists and leaders of the story of the exposition.

Curated by Alfons Martinell Sempere, the exposition took place in Colombia, Uruguay and Mexico and allowed the visitors to get to know individual persons, social and collective facts, images of everyday and social life, historical facts, conflicts and social and artistic movements representing the past 100 years.

Las Américas was not idealized as a historical exposition, but as a chronicle, which, through images, would put the role of women in the evolution of society into dialogue with the advances in the recognition of fundamental rights. The typical languages of the image and photojournalism can show everyday life and concrete situations with a special vitality, helping us to understand realities which are not known very well or which are far from our perceptions.

In order to produce each exhibition, studies were conducted between the years 2010 and 2011 into the reality and the history of every country with local agents, which constructed the specific contents of each context. Within the framework of each exposition, a Didactic Guide was created to provide an educational tool, connected to the exposition projects, oriented towards the citizens in training (ages 8 and 16).

Within the framework of its educational services, each hall offered schools and other agents the possibility of incorporating different expositions as a vehicle for capacity generation with a potential for local development through the construction of a new citizenry that is conscious of its history and advances in terms of human rights.


The University of Girona and the cultural environment

The Social Council of the University of Girona requested from the Unesco Chair in Cultural Policies a study regarding the relations that the University of Girona has established with the cultural sector of the regions of Girona during its history of 15 years. The goal was to conduct an analysis of the situation with the objective of determining how the third fundamental mission of territorial social and cultural dynamization could be improved and strengthened, which is a mission that universities like the University of Girona should take on. 

The first phase of the study was the prior definition of the cultural sector and a detailed study of what the university produces and generates at the moment. This first phase was followed by the collection and processing of information of a more qualitative nature, such as opinions, suggestions and analyses of both the staff that work in the specifically cultural proposals within the University and the people that work in the cultural sector of the territory.

To conduct the study, The Chair relied on the collaboration and experience of, among others, the experts of the Atalaya project (The Andalusian University Observatory of Cultural Atalaya). The final results were published in a book, written up by a team of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Policies and Cooperation, comprised of Carme Baqué, Gemma Carbó and Alfons Martinell.

Studies into the new educational policies and municipalities with the International Association of Educating Cities 

The UNESCO Chair of Cultural Policies and Cooperation signed a convention with the International Association of Educating Cities for the creation of a publication regarding the development and dissemination of new educational policies with the following objectives:

•To provide everyone, especially those that have municipal responsibilities and would like to know what the principles and practices of the Educator City consist of and what the concrete policies of action are, with useful information. 

•To present some good practices conducted in various realities and environments or policy sectors in different Educating Cities.

•To facilitate a better dissemination of the Charter of Educating Cities and the actions of the Association, promoting larger international support for this initiative.

•To propose a critical reflection on the practices of the Cities themselves, which already form part of this network. 

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