KPY Day Conference-5: "Cultural Autonomy: Revisiting an Old Concept"

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Date: December 6, 2012 Thursday
Time: 18:00
Place: santralistanbul Campus, E4-305

İstanbul Bilgi University Cultural Policy and Management Research Centre (KPY) and Cultural Management MA Program (CAMMA) jointly organise 5th annual KPY Day Conference titled as 'Cultural Autonomy: Revisiting an Old Concept'.

Culture is commonly considered to be a slow moving phenomenon growing in depths. Yet, nowadays it seems to be placed in the forefront of popular discussions of the social, economical and even political arena. Cultural participation as means of democracy or culture as a vital element of sustainable development etc.

When we take a look at the world culture we have to admit that an outstanding amount of the existing academic literature and legislation is originated in Europe while it is unlikely that a remarkable alteration in the cultural arena of  the old continent will happen soon. On the other hand, there is  an interesting cultural effervescence in other regions as for instance North Africa and Middle East frequently referred to in association with their  ‘spring’.

Can we anticipate the recent cultural vitality  in the ‘South world’ to  add on to our present stock of knowhow and practices on culture?

Can cultural activism indeed be an agent of change? Or is it simply one of its outcomes? No matter which happens first though, can the examples of cultural agency in these geographies of state-civil society fragmentation give us important insights concerning the autonomy of cultural action?

The KPY Conference titled 'Cultural Autonomy: Revisiting an Old Concept' will take place as a dialogue between an independent cultural activist from Egypt and a cultural practitioner turned scholar and commentator who hails originally from India but lives and works in Europe and Australia.

Basma El Husseiny from Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy) and Yudhishthir Raj Isar from the American University will attend the conference as speakers.

Basma El Husseiny:
An arts manager and a cultural activist who has been involved in supporting independent cultural projects and organizations in the Arab region for the past 20 years.  Basma is an UNESCO expert in cultural governance and was previously the Media, Arts & Culture Program Officer for the Ford Foundation in the Middle East and North Africa, and the Arts Manager of the British Council in Egypt.  Basma is a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Cultural Policy and Management, Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey and was until October 2011 a member of the Advisory Board of the Rawafed Program, Syria Trust for Development.  She is also the Egypt representative of the Arterial Network, Africa’s largest cultural network, and a member of Arterial’s Cultural Policy Task Team.  Basma is the co-author of the EU report: Towards A Strategy for Culture in the Mediterranean.

Basma El Husseiny is currently the managing director of Culture Resource (Al Mawred Al Thaqafy), a regional non-profit organization that aims at supporting young artists and writers, and stimulating cultural exchange within the Arab region and with the world.  She has also co-founded, and was a trustee of the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture, an independent regional foundation.

Yudhishthir Raj Isar:
An analyst, advisor and public speaker who straddles several worlds of cultural practice and experience.  He is currently Professor of Cultural Policy Studies at The American University of Paris; Eminent Research Visitor at the Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney and the founding co-editor of the Cultures and Globalization Series published by SAGE.   Earlier, at UNESCO (1973-2003), he was inter alia Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Museum, Executive Secretary of the World Commission on Culture and Development and Director of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture.  He is also a consultant to international organizations and foundations and has been a board member of several cultural institutions.  He was President of the arts advocacy platform Culture Action Europe from 2004 to 2008. 

Publications made in collaboration with İstanbul Bilgi University and Cultural Policy and Management Research Centre will be sold at 5. KPY Day Conference.

Conference will be held in English.

For detailed information:
Adil Serhan Şahin
Tel: 0212 - 311 7579