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Promoting sustainable development through culture: current status, challenges and prospects.

Pratt, A.C. (2013). Promoting sustainable development through culture: current status, challenges and prospects. In: Korean national commission for UNESCO (Ed.), 2013 International Forum on Culture and Development: Unveiling New Prospects for Development through Culture. . Korean national commission for UNESCO.


The traditional concerns of UNESCO as they impinge on culture can perhaps be summarized by education, communication and heritage. Naturally, in a development context education has always had pride of place. Education is of course a basic human right, but in relation to culture it is the key that opens up a door to ones own, and community histories as well as those of others.

The tools to enable education are both the recording of memories and the expression and communication of these understandings. Hence, the important UNESCO concern with developing communications technologies and the relative access of them by citizens: from books, to film and TV, telephones and the internet; and, the languages that are used, and the literacy attained. These are at once the tools and the expressions of our cultures. Recently these have been celebrated and contextualized in our attempts to archive and curate culture, as expressed in museums and archives, in tangible and intangible means. The network of world heritage sites, and creative cities, are examples of the recognition and the protection which we have sought to afford culture.

As an aid to the concrete actions of UNESCO to support such initiatives through programs and technical support efforts have been made to document, catalogue and monitor progress, as well as highlighting continuing challenges. In recent years we can note a shift, or development, of emphasis. I want to point to two developments which I think help to frame the current and future challenges in this field and illustrate contemporary debate about the relationship between sustainable development and culture.

Publication Type: Book Section
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Culture & the Creative Industries
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