Cornelius Holtorf

Hello there, Cornelius Holtorf, attending UNESCO's conference MONDIACULT in Mexico City

Cultural policies and sustainable development is the theme of UNESCO's world conference MONDIACULT, which will be held in Mexico City on September 28-30, 2022. One of those present is Linnaeus University's Cornelius Holtorf, holder of an UNESCO Chair with focus on heritage futures. More than 100 ministers of culture from all over the world are also present.

The aim of MONDIACULT is to shape a more robust and resilient cultural sector, which is rooted in sustainable development, and which promotes solidarity, peace, and security.

The conference is attended by more than 100 ministers of culture, but also representatives from over 150 intergovernmental organizations, UNESCO partners, civil society, and some of the other UNESCO Chairs in the field of culture. The first MONDIACULT was organized in 1982, also in Mexico City. The second took place in Stockholm in 1998.

How does it feel to participate in MONDIACULT?

Cornelius Holtorf at MONDIACULT in Mexico City.
Cornelius Holtorf at MONDIACULT.

- It feels exciting! I have never participated in this kind of global conference at ministerial level, with delegations from all over the world. I hope that this event will stimulate the global political dialogue on culture for sustainable development.

How do you participate in the conference?

- I will participate in a "side event" that deals with how culture can address the climate crisis. The title is "Responding to the climate emergency: new imperatives for cultural policy" and the event is organized by the Climate Heritage Network. I will also talk to as many people as possible and try to arouse interest in the importance of foresight and  futures literacy in the field of culture, and especially in the cultural heritage sector. This is the unique focus of the UNESCO Chair at the Linnaeus University.

Why is it important to discuss culture and cultural policy in relation to the climate crisis?

- Human life on earth will change through climate change. We need to adapt societies and global politics in many areas. Culture is about how we as people give meaning to our lives, about the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat guide our behavior, and what or who we trust. We need to understand how all this will change, or need to be adapted for the future, with human rights as a starting point. Cultural policies need to support that process. Culture and cultural heritage can provide inspiration but also contribute to solutions in different ways. Not least by showing that change is normal and that it can lead to a better life in different ways.

What do you hope the outcome will be from the conference?

- Hopefully, the importance of culture in mitigating the climate crisis will be highlighted. And the importance of foresight in the field of culture to guide the cultural sector forward. I also hope that more people will become interested in our activities within heritage futures.

MONDIACULT is organized by the Government of Mexico, 28-30 September 2022.

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