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Fair culture: Preconditions for music as tool for social change

This session focused on diverse ways in using music as a tool for social change with examples from various countries. 

Hanne Lehto moderated this session and gave an introduction to topic by presenting her theory of fair culture which is based on the equal realization of cultural rights and inclusion in cultural signification as well as the understanding of cultural rights alongside civic, political and economic human rights. View full presentation here

Furthermore Ahmad Sarmast presented his impressive Afghan National Institute of Music (ANIM), which was the first Afghan music school established since the fall of the Taliban and which promotes Afghan and Western music while focusing on disadvantaged groups like girls, orphans and street children vendors. Features on the ANIM in international media as well as the attention received at the IMC World Forum on Music have helped to create a positive image of Afghanistan whilst supporting social change at the same time.

Reem Kassem gave a stirring speech about the role musicians and artists played in narrowing the gap between cultural policy and the needs of the community, and their key role in the recognition of the right to self-expression in general as well as during the Jasmine revolution. Read the speech here.

That music is a catalyst for social change was also underlined in the presentation by Féthi Zghonda when he pointed out the impact of social, economical and political change in Tunisia endorsed by music.

Lusia M Jorge Grullón moved the emotions of the audience by presenting Fil-Armonia's way of fighting against violence and the culture of poverty in the Hispaniola Island. She procured its important role, a result of the successful increase, over a period of 30 years, in music education, and of musical influence in precarious economic conditions which at the same time brought new hope to the poor through the means of a new aesthetic vision. View full presentation here.

Some thought-provoking impulses were given by Brett Pyper, who talked about the ethics of global cultural production and consumption as well as about the domain of human rights which aligns policy with broader human development.

Aarne Saluveer opened his presentation with a quote by the Estonian musicologist Jaan Ross: "Music speaks truth and connects people". He explained the strong link in Estonian history between social change and music by presenting the lost established tradition of joint song celebrations in Estonia, the biggest success of which occurred in 1989 when Estonians non-violently freed themselves from Soviet occupation with the Singing Revolution. This happening as well as the big sing celebrations which engage about 20000 singers exemplify how great a role music plays in society and how it can lead to social change.


Video of the Fair culture session

Photos by Vahur Lõhmus. All rights reserved.

Video by Marek Vilba. All rights reserved.


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European Music Council

Eesti Muusikanoukogu

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Eesti Muusika-Ja Teatriakadeemia

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Namm - Belive in music