Based on the debates at the World Social Forum, which gets underway tomorrow, January 26, in Porto Alegre, state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south of Brazil, the Ministry of Culture intends to formulate government policies for popular cultures.
This declaration was made by the Ministry’s secretary of Cultural Identity and Diversity, Sérgio Mamberti.
In Mamberti’s opinion, “popular culture has been relegated to the backstage in Brazil, and the discussions at the Forum “will surely result in the creation of a National Institute of Popular Cultures,” he added.
All over the world, he recalled, discussions about culture are permeating government actions. “Nowadays we have a concept of culture that is not limited solely to artistic idioms but deals with the set of values of a people.”
The secretary went on to inform that the first National Seminar on Popular Culture will be held in Brasília, in February.
“It is essential to dignify manifestations from all regions. This type of expression is often viewed as less important than elite culture,” he affirmed.
See You in Africa
The International Council, which is composed of 129 organizations and is the main representative body of the World Social Forum (WSF), is gathering to discuss directions for the event in the next two years.
The councillors are evaluating a proposal to move the forum to Africa in 2007. According to the representative of the Brazilian Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (Abong), Sérgio Haddad, this is already practically a sure bet.
The format for 2006, however, is still up in the air. The Council will consider a proposal to hold three simultaneous regional forums in three continents: America, Africa, and Asia.
If the proposal is adopted, several countries, including Morocco and Venezuela, have already presented themselves as candidates to host the forums.
Translation: David Silberstein