Insights > "maps" the impressions of the World Summit
18 Oct 2011 "maps" the impressions of the World Summit


“Art connects us all”. This testimonial written on the creative map by the Greek delegate Theo Anagnostopoulos, well reflects the spirit of the 5th World Summit on Arts and Culture that took place last week in Melbourne, Australia.

More than 500 delegates from all over the world, spanning from South America, to Micronesia, from Europe to Africa and Asia, were given an opportunity to learn from each other experiences and exchange ideas around the theme of "creative intersections".

The discussions that took place during the four intense days of roundtables identified a number of policy “pressure points”, which could serve as priority areas for further dialogues. The main points highlighted the importance of new cultural behaviours, the need for new public funding approaches, the necessity of educational approaches that link with local communities.

At the same time, the delegates recognized the significance of old cultural expressions in creating “meetings” between people and how we all have a responsibility to make sure these cultural expressions are supported and disseminated.

In line with the idea of “creating intersections and meeting places”, has developed along the Summit, its first interactive artistic project in collaboration with the artist Hugh Davies.

[caption id="attachment_16034" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="The map is shaping up"][/caption]

The idea was to give a visual and physical representation to the comments of the members of the community as well as to the delegates that where at the Summit.

The result is a collaborative work that starts with the answers to the online survey “how are the arts a catalyst for change in today’s society?”, and expands to include thoughts and expectations more related to the Summit itself.

[caption id="attachment_16042" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Some of the posts added to the map"][/caption]

The collaboration with Hugh Davies, was instrumental in shaping the map by engaging the Summit delegates  to contribute their own vision on the role of the arts, thereby allowing the map to socially evolve.

At the end of the 4 days of discussions, the interactive map has come to reflect some of the themes and “pressure points” that have emerged from the discussions.

Arts and local communities

[caption id="attachment_16044" align="aligncenter" width="448" caption="Hugh Davies with one of the delegates in front of the map"][/caption]


The importance of local communities and the need to link arts and cultural changes to the local context was very much reinforced:
“Arts and communities as a vehicle for equal and different”  (Finland)

“Arts help us to be local while connecting us globally” (Mongolia)

Out of the comfort zone

Through the arts, we come to question set ideas and we envisage new perspectives:
"Arts create and foster a sense of belonging" (Indonesia)

"Arts allow a space for disrupting settled realities and creating new possibilities" (Nigeria)

"The arts tap into new neural pathways and create new understandings and shifts in perspectives. That is why we need the arts." (Australia)

“Be sure before leaving this summit to leave something, and certainly share part of your culture”, writes a delegate from Tunisia on the map. was indeed the ideal platform to do this, to share and to be inspired by each other’s cultures. thanks all the people that contributed to the map and will soon publish all the answers online. So keep an eye out for them!

See more impressions on the art summit on our Twitter round-up article