The Cultural Debates: A Vision for an Egyptian Cultural Policy (The 1st Workshop)

From 08 Jul 2015 To 08 Jul 2015 Bayt Al-Sinnari, Cairo

In collaboration with the European Union, and within the framework of the Support to Cultural Diversity and Creativity in Egypt program, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) is organizing a workshop under the theme of “A Vision for an Egyptian Cultural Policy”. The event will be held on Wednesday, the 8th of July 2015, at the historical building of Bayt Al-Sinnari in Sayeda Zeinab district in Cairo, and is scheduled to start at 4:00 pm.

The event acquires its major significance from being the first in a series of workshops which aim to draft a cultural policy for Egypt, to be further presented to the Egyptian authorities for discussion and adoption. As the Support to Cultural Diversity and Creativity in Egypt program nears completion, the drafting of a national cultural policy for Egypt emerges as one its main assets; brought to fruition by the Cultural Debates activity which discusses ways of improving the cultural sector in Egypt, and where experts and policy makers are invited to discuss and make recommendations regarding drafting a national cultural policy for Egypt. 

Through its scheduled 12 debates, which examined various themes from the Egyptian cultural scene, the Cultural Debates project successfully managed to create a think-tank consisting of young and senior intellectuals, cultural operators, artists, ministry officials and public authorities amongst others, to assess the current cultural situation; the main players in the country and the challenges to be addressed. Whilst these debates form the main activity of the Cultural Debates, the workshops emerge as a key-element in the project and as an important follow-up to what has been achieved, as they are specifically designed to discuss the results of the cultural debates; with each of the four scheduled workshops focusing on examining three previous debates. Taking the results of the debates into account, participants at the workshops will engage in a structured dialogue to make recommendations on drafting an Egyptian cultural policy. Furthermore, a final workshop will be conducted for final review and discussion of the produced draft.

The workshop will be chaired by Dr. Ismail Serageldin, director of the BA. A group of renowned thinkers and intellectuals will be participating in the event as well. The event will start with an opening speech by Dr. Serageldin. It will further proceed into two sessions. The first, which serves as a review of the first three debates, will discusses three main themes: first, the status of culture in Egypt; the cultural system and the role of technology in promoting culture; and finally, the role of city of Alexandria in the Egyptian cultural scene. Entitled “Towards a Better National Culture”, the second session will explore the future of culture in Egypt, and the main solutions presented to resolve cultural crises.

The event will be concluded at 7 pm, and will be followed by an Iftar banquet at Bayt Al-Sinnari.