Caucult: Wrapping everything up
Why is there a need for cultural diversity? Why is there a need for dialogue? What would happen if there was no dialogue?
It’s impossible to find the answers to these and several other similar questions without having a deep understanding of the need for cross-cultural dialogue. Cross-cultural dialogue is viewed as free exchange of views between groups and individuals with different ethnic, cultural, religious, linguistic origin and heritage, hinged on respect and mutual understanding. A successful cross-cultural dialogue requires broadmindedness, the desire to engage in dialogue, providing others with the opportunity to express themselves and the ability to solve problems in peace. For nearly three years, the Caucasian Cultural Initiatives Network (Caucult) Program has been helping discover the cultural diversity of the South Caucasus as the key to creating, development and the flourishing of nations. In the course of this program, Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian organizations have participated in several cultural events to create a unique platform for culture and friendship. Various events have been held in Gyumri, Goris, Alaverdi and Vanadzor, as well as at several cultural centers of Azerbaijan and Georgia. “One of the main goals of the program is to create a cross-cultural network. The next goal is to speak out about the issues concerning communities through the network and with cultural tools,” program coordinator Anna Yeghoyan mentioned. The youth made great contributions to and showed participation in the cultural events in Armenia, doing everything possible to raise cultural values, identify the problems and establish dialogue. Within the frames of the program, Gyumri’s MEK NGO hosted Garry Arzumanyan’s personal exhibition. Aghveran hosted a course on “Peculiarities of Cultural Journalism”. Books “came to life” at Komitas Square where people talked about stereotypes and encouraged mutual understanding. Cultural values and the force that is “at the greatest loss” were presented during the “Tree of Dreams” interactive game, handmade works, “Before It’s Too Late”, “City of My Dreams” painting game, “Sky Art” creative task, the “Open Art Studio” open-air exhibition, the “Community Arts Festival” and several other events. The results of the needs assessment in communities were presented during the conference held in Armenia on October 31. The participants of the event made proposals for the strategy on Armenia’s cultural policy, asked questions and received answers. Recently, within the frames of cultural dialogue in Georgia, the representatives of the three countries met and summed up the activities that they had carried out over the past three years. “By saying “cultural diversity”, the Georgians understand sexual and different minorities. During the conference, they said there is a need for changes in Georgian school textbooks. The Azerbaijanis mentioned that girls and women aren’t allowed to participate in different events. Summing all this up, it’s safe to say that the Caucasians aren’t mute, half-literate or people with almost no culture,” one of the members of the Armenian team, Professor of the Gyumri branch of Yerevan State Academy of Arts Artur Gevorgyan said. During the conference, the representatives of the neighboring countries weren’t able to present their activities very clearly, but the meeting between the representatives of the three countries was held in a “positive” atmosphere, to a certain extent. “Yes, this will be ongoing. Yes, our team wants to help the country. We’ll try to create a cultural policy for the public. If we want to ensure the development of culture, we have to write the “book” for the development of our culture and culture in general. The cultures of other nations might be instructive, but we definitely have to have our own,” Mr. Gevorgyan said in closing with hope and optimism. Well, the only thing left to do is to learn from all this, understand the value, importance and power of culture in our reality, the culture that can become a powerful weapon for our nation and our country. Gallery: Caucult draws to an end Lilit Sedrakyan