Posted by: ingjerdschou | January 24, 2012

The right of everyone to take part in cultural life. Innlegg 24.1.2012 -Europarådet, Strasbourg

Thank you Mr. President,
First of all I would like to thank the rapporteur for her work on an issue I very much agree is pivotal to the system of human rights. Participation in cultural life is a key to awareness and developing an identity. This is important for each individual, but also for society as a whole. To be able to respect others, it is important to know oneself. To respect and appreciate other cultures you must know your own. The responsibility each state carries when it comes to culture stems from this, and each and every Council of Europe member state is responsible for letting all their citizens take part in cultural life.
Paragraph 13.4.3 in the draft recommendation is essential. Exchanging good practices is especially useful in the field of culture.

President,
Children go to school. Giving children the opportunity to explore culture, both as spectators, participants and performers, is giving them a platform for taking part in cultural life. I would like to share an example from Norway. Since 2001 Norwegian school children has benefited from the national program “The Cultural Rucksack”. The program is state funded, managed by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research, and executed by schools and cultural institutions. The program objectives are:
• Giving children access to professional artistic and cultural productions.
• Facilitating their acquaintance and understanding of culture in various forms.
• Assisting schools in integrating cultural expression in school life.
Annualy, winners are selected for the “The Golden Rucksack” prize. The 2011 winning school start every day with a cultural gathering where the pupils showcase their work, be it singing, dancing, acting or pieces of art. The school cooperates with professionals artists from various cultural fields and has had a cultural anchor to their work for more than 30 years.
In my constituency a Gallery called Point Ø is partnering with schools through the Cultural Rucksack. More than 10.000 children visit every year, and I have seen with my own eyes how this has benefitted the youth in my area.
In closing I would like to quote the principal of the school winning the “Golden rucksack” for 2011, Mrs. Bodil Alver Moen :
“Through culture we learn for life!”

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