The 4th Cultural Debate - "The Civil Society and the Independent Cultural Communities in Egypt"

From 23 Dec 2014 To 23 Dec 2014 Doum Foundation

Within the framework of the program Support to Cultural Diversity and Creativity in Egypt, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina organized the program’s fourth cultural debate under the theme of “The Civil Society and the Independent Cultural Communities in Egypt”. The debate took place on the 23rd of December, 2014 and was hosted by Doum Foundation in Cairo.

The event brought together 21 prominent intellectuals and representatives of cultural institutions, to discuss and make recommendations regarding the role of the civil society in promoting culture in Egypt. The discussion began with participants introducing the institutions they represent; the initiatives they undertook; and overviews about their products, events and publications.

The discussion progressed to tackle the status of culture in Egypt and the difficulties independent institutions face. The questions of how to provide what the cultural situation needs and how to implement effective work to reach out to a wider network of audience, were also addressed. Participants also discussed the communication between the independent cultural entities and the Ministry of Culture, and how to maintain a cooperative relationship with the state. Finally, they listed some recommendations to improve the current status of culture in Egypt. These included: having better coordination and networking between the civil society institutions; improving the connection between civil society and the state; creating think-tanks for following up the cultural situation in Egypt; working on current legislations; and opening public cultural spaces for the different initiatives.

The stakeholders who participated in the discussion included: the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Doum Foundation for Culture, El Khan cultural committee, the Egyptian Heritage Association, Megraya Foundation, Women and Memory Forum, Update CU initiative, Mogwara initiative, Cairo Contemporary Dance Center, Culture Resource (Al Mawred), and the Jesuit Cultural Center in Alexandria, among others.