Reaching the Summit
Today is the first day of the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit, which sees delegations and Culture Ministers from across the globe come together with artists, thinkers and cultural policy experts to discuss the role culture plays in promoting dialogue amongst nations.
The Summit is a collaboration between the Scottish Government, UK Government, British Council and the Edinburgh International Festival, and will take place at Scottish Parliament.
Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick MSP will open the Summit today, followed by welcoming remarks from Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP and UK Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP.
The opening of the summit will also feature Scottish national poet Liz Lochhead reciting Robert Burns’ poem A Man’s A Man For A’ That and the National Youth Choir of Scotland National Girls Choir performing Cantate Domino! Alleluia! by Christi Cary Miller.
Delegates are expected from all over the world, including economic powerhouses Brazil, Japan, Russia and the USA, alongside developing nations including Malawi, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Zambia. Discussion at the Summit will be wide-ranging, from examination of the role culture can play in reconciliation after conflict – a debate that will include input from delegates from Northern Ireland and Iraq – to the position of technology in the future of the creative industries.
Artists and delegates will also share ideas on the role of the arts in understanding complex relationships between cultures and nations, how to sustain public and private support for culture, and which skills cultural workers will need in the future.
With such a diverse and impressive group of minds gathering in the Scottish capital, from European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, Androulla Vassiliou, to artists from all over the world whose energies focus on creating works that speak to communities about social and political issues, the Summit promises to be a bold and inspiring examination of the role art has to play in cultural relations.
Fiona Hyslop MSP said that when nations throughout the world are striving for peace and equal human rights, “culture is able to translate these ideas into a common language that transcends societal differences.”
Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Jonathan Mills, said: “It is a great indication of the power and importance of culture to a country’s success and identity that so many nations have sent ministers and delegations for Edinburgh to attend and take part in the first Edinburgh International Cultural Summit.
“We have already begun to enter a period in history where no specific culture, ideology, religion or politics will be all pervasive or dominant.
“We are now living in world in which knowledge comes simultaneously from various, divergent technological, ethical, philosophical, and above all, cultural sources and locations.
“A summit focussing on mutual cultural interests and shared human values is both timely and appropriate and I look forward to the debates and discussions over these two days and to learning from nations and cultures from around the world.”
For more information on the Summit visit its website here.