The 1st Cultural Debate - "Report on the Status of Culture in Egypt"

From 03 May 2014 To 03 May 2014

The first Cultural Debate under the program Support to Cultural Diversity and Creativity in Egypt was organized by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina on the 3rd of May, 2014. It was preceded by the first meeting of the program’s advisory committee, at which they laid the foundation for the work and coming debates, that will eventually lead to the drafting of a national cultural policy for Egypt.

Significantly, and as the initiatory discussion, the 1st Cultural Debate focused on formulating a founding report on the status of culture in Egypt. This first founding report acquires its importance by establishing the infrastructure of the work, as it includes basic information about the Egyptian culture, institutional maps, and diverse fields of cultural work. The report also aspires to develop the nucleus for an annual report that will be issued at a later stage, sufficing for now with the developments that occur throughout the year.

The methodology of the report was based on a number of stages namely; reviewing previous literatures represented in similar reports, whether published or not, completed or not; in addition to collecting data and information, whether by means of research or field studies. The collected information was then analyzed and submitted in its final form, while observing futuristic development trends that include public policy proposals, models for developing cultural institutions, and cultural production diversity.

Due the divergence of viewing angles, where one focuses on cultural institutions and the other on fields of cultural creativity, the report also followed a number of main approaches in tackling these topics. These included; preliminary, institutional, historical and legal approaches. Each of these approaches were used to explore the status of culture in Egypt from a specific perspective.

A number of areas were also emphasized in the report. These included: the digitization of Egyptian culture, and the digital content; political and cultural pluralism; cultural diversity; development of the Egyptian cultural structure; the Egyptian identity; documentation of heritage; the state and creativity; the effect of the 25th January Revolution on culture; and cultural work funding problems.

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