What is the Global South Arts and Culture Initiative (GLOSACI)?
GLOSACI is a network of artists, creative enterprises, cultural activists, arts NGOs and others engaged in civil society cultural spaces across the Global South, that actively seeks to promote and defend the interests of its members at national, regional and global levels.
What are the aims of GLOSACI?
- To identify global and regional issues related to global arts and culture policies e.g. the 2005 UNESCO Convention, the relationship between culture and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), cultural diplomacy, etc and to interrogate and engage with these from Global South perspectives.
- To provide a voice for the Global South arts and culture sector in relevant international forums, and within the Global South itself, to give voice to marginalized communities and themes
- To play an advocacy role on behalf of the Global South’s arts and culture sector in the pursuit of economic, political, environmental and cultural justice at local, national, regional and global levels.
- To share knowledge and information from within and between cultural players in the Global South, including knowledge and information about sustainability strategies, innovative policy ideas, general developments in the arts and culture space, etc.
- Constantly to rethink the role of arts and culture in making the world a better place, and in the pursuit of social justice and human, social and economic development.
- To facilitate south-south dialogue, cultural cooperation, artistic collaboration and engagement at all levels in the arts and culture space
- To build a global south arts and culture community based on trust and with resources gleaned primarily from global south sources.
- To assert and provide a platform for a global south agenda in the arts and culture space rather than a donor-driven or a global north-defined agenda.
What is “the Global South”?
GLOSACI understands “the Global South” not as a hemispheric, geographical term but as a broad term referencing those countries and regions that do not – generally – enjoy global hegemony or influence in terms of political, economic, military and cultural power. The Global South includes all the countries of Africa,all Asian countries other than Japan, all countries in Latin America and Central America, as well as Mexico, all countries in the Pacific Islands region, all countries in the Caribbean region, all countries in the Arab region, all indigenous communities in the Global North (e.g. first people nations in Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand, on the understanding that many of these indigenous communities continue to be marginalised and have their cultures suppressed within their countries that were colonised) as well as individuals – and their organisations – from the above regions now living in the Global North, but who still identify with/are connected to their country of origin (including migrants and refugees)
What is meant by a “Global South Initiative”
By defining this as a Global South Civil Society Initiative, it is specifically meant that
- the leadership of the Initiative will come from civil society structures and practices within the regions, countries and communities listed above
- full membership of the Initiative will be granted to civil society stakeholders and actors from these regions, countries and communities
- the vision, strategic direction and tactics will be determined by stakeholders and actors from these regions, countries and communities
- the coordination and management of the Initiative will be located within these regions, countries and communities and
- where partnerships with Global North agencies, funders and collaborators are formed, these will be conducted on the basis that they subscribe to this understanding of the Global South.
What are the working principles of GLOSACI?
- We believe that all human beings are born equal in rights, irrespective of their colour, gender, culture or place of birth.
- We recognize that we live in a structurally unequal world where the mal-distribution of economic resources, political power, military muscle and allows a global minority to enjoy their full rights and human potential, while the majority of the world’s inhabitants are engaged in ongoing struggles to realise theirs.
- We believe that a global minority is able to assert their values, ideas, beliefs and worldviews through far-reaching media and creative products, thus allowing it to enjoy substantial cultural hegemony, and thus to promote and defend their interests and values through means of “soft power”.
- This Initiative seeks to help give expression to the interests of the global majority in and through the creative and cultural sectors, using means that include artistic expression, the interrogation of dominant policies and worldviews and the assertion and promotion of counter-hegemonic ideas and values where these generally represent the global majority.
- We acknowledge the range of experiences and the inequities that prevail within the Global South itself and will seek to ensure that the participation and respect we pursue at a global level, is reflected in our internal leadership, decision-making and participatory processes to ensure equity and non-dominance by countries with superior resources.
- While we strongly assert the unjust and inequitable nature of our globe, we do not promote nor support a simplistic majority-versus-minority approach to resolving the inequities and creating a more just world. We believe that we need to address global, regional and even national challenges together with allies in the Global North who share our commitment to an equitable, environmentally sustainable and culturally diverse world.
- Nevertheless, we assert that this Initiative will promote and defend the interests of the Global South, and accordingly, will be led and be given direction by, and have its activities located largely within the Global South.
- Finally, this Initiative, while welcoming the support of governments and attendance and participation in its activities by sympathetic government and parastatal agencies such as arts councils, is first and foremost a civil society Initiative, and as such, will represent and be led by civil society actors and interests.