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Diversity of cultural expressions

Freedom of art and culture  
Photo: © Caroline Minjolle

Diversity of cultural expressions

At the core of the “UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions” stands an effort to foster an environment in which artistic and cultural diversity can develop freely and be protected from a purely economic approach. Of course, it is true that cultural expressions such as literature, theatre, music, film or the visual arts have a financial market value as consumer goods; however, their value is in no way limited to this aspect. As sources of meaning, significance and artistic perspectives, they convey identities and values and thus contribute to social cohesion. As such, the Convention recognises the right of all states to actively shape their cultural policies and to take steps against unrestricted deregulation of art and culture. At the same time, the Contracting Parties to the Convention have an obligation to ensure that favourable conditions for a diversity of art and culture can be maintained. As such, alongside cultural policy, the Convention also highlights the areas of policy that impact cultural creativity, the cultural activities on offer and cultural participation – from educational policy, to media policy and trade policy. One major concern of the ÖUK is therefore to support a dialogue and cooperation between all those involved.