PARTICIPATION INCLUSION COLLECTI VE REFLECTION
Organised in partnership between Scene for Culture and Heritage and the British Council Libya, the Culture Connects Us Programme seeks to strengthen and expand the network amongst actors of the arts and cultural heritage sectors in Libya and the UK, and to provide an opportunity for exchange between them. By stirring sectorial questions about common opportunities and needs through a series of talks in 8 localities throughout Libya and virtually, the Programme emphasises shared spaces in order to inform policies and approaches so as to nurture the connection between individual initiatives and the collective.
The Programme is based on participative planning that focuses on the inclusion of Libyan artists, researchers, cultural operators and creative professionals in the process of planning for the talk series. At the outset of Culture Connects Us in February of 2022, a sample of 30 key Libyan Libyan cultural actors from the public, private, civil society, academic sectors alongside individuals were invited to a workshop as Key Informants to: (a) share, discuss and negotiate amongst each other key topic areas deemed important by them, and (b) in turn, collectively identify the key topic and sub-topic areas, format and prospective guests for the talks.
This participative approach allowed for developing the Programme in accordance with the issues deemed important by the stakeholders; therefore supporting the sector by offering an opportunity and resources to voice and develop the conversations on these issues during the talks.
The Talks took place in March of 2022 in 6 cities within Libya’s three provinces, in partnership with 4 organisations as Local Contacts and involved a total of 130 participants of sectorial, field, cultural, geographic, age, and gender diversities. As these two stages of workshops and talks inquired into the interests and needs of the actors within the arts and heritage sectors, opinions and recommendations were recorded and the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, challenges were then collectively analysed.
Building on the above outputs,
BRIEFING PAPER & ROUNDTABLE
The Programme concludes with a Briefing Paper aimed to leverage recorded needs and interests by recommending possible policies and actions that support them, targeting legislation-makers (including the Constitution), decision-makers (i.e. executive national and local-level governance), and actors (e.g. civil society organisations, donors, private cultural facilities etc.). A draft of the Briefing Paper was discussed during the virtual Roundtable Discussion in May 2022 with a focus group of cultural and heritage actors from Libya and the UK to allow for a concluding consultation and final inputs.
April, May 2022
To further reinforce accessibility to the talks and their sustainability, in addition to the live events we initiated an inclusive and innovative digital approach to talks where participants, stakeholders and the public are invited to voice their opinions via audio and written records (the written forum will be launched shortly).
This creates a vertically and horizontally (diversity and geography) inclusive version of talks where the stage is offered to various opinions. It also extends the life of the conversation over a longer time span rather than the confined temporal and spatial restrictions of a conventional event.