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29 May 2024

CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2019 announces dynamic, week-long programme

Photo: WAM


The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the full programme of the third edition of CultureSummit Abu Dhabi, set to run from 7th to 11th April at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

CultureSummit Abu Dhabi is a unique global platform that brings together leaders in arts, heritage, media, museums, and technology to identify ways in which culture can play a pivotal role in raising awareness of global issues, building cultural bridges and promoting positive change. The event aims to determine an annual cultural agenda that will address the world’s pressing challenges and provide practical solutions.

Over five days, CultureSummit Abu Dhabi 2019 will present a dynamic series of panel discussions, performances and interactive workshops under the topics of art, media, heritage, museums, and technology, as well as cultural performances and networking events. This edition’s theme of ‘Cultural Responsibility & New Technology’ addresses questions of how cultural agents can be more engaged in addressing global challenges, and how creativity and technology may be harnessed for positive change.

"This year’s CultureSummit agenda reflects the urgency of our times, with the panel sessions and workshops covering key issues in the cultural and societal realms," said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman at DCT Abu Dhabi. "The responsibility of cultural agents to contribute to the betterment of society is something that Abu Dhabi strongly believes in. We are gathering together brilliant and influential minds with the aim sparking ideas and solutions, forging connections and fostering future partnerships, to tackle critical global challenges and affect real, tangible change."

CultureSummit will officially kick off following welcome remarks from Mohamed Khalifa al Mubarak, Chairman, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, and a keynote address by Noura Mohammed Al Kaabi, the UAE’s Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development.

The event’s opening panel will delve into subject matter around the theme of this year’s Summit: Cultural Diplomacy and Responsibility in the Age of New Technology. Moderated by Zaki Nusseibeh, UAE Minister of State, speakers will include José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Former Prime Minister of Spain; Jorge Fernando Quiroga, Former President of Bolivia (2001-2002) and Member of the Club de Madrid; and Bernardino León, Director General, Emirates Diplomatic Academy.

Next will be How can media survive the age of technology? Moderated by John Prideaux, US editor of The Economist, this session will examine the rise of tech companies as distributors of news, looking at the ways that new technology and the rise of social media has transformed the relationship between producers and consumers of all forms of cultural media. Speakers are Mina Al Oraibi, Editor-in-Chief, The National; Shashi Menon, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Nervora; and John Deftorias, Emerging Markets Editor & Host, Marketplace Middle East, CNN.

Panelists will try to answer these questions: How can museums creatively embrace the digital age?; Representing the world: How can the media drive change?; What is the role of heritage in post-crisis recovery and reconstruction?; Can visual culture be global?; What are the new frontiers?; What constitutes public art?; How can new technologies support heritage in emergencies?; How are the new publics shaping our new museums?; Which new actors for heritage in emergencies? and Can we debate freedom of expression?.

The CultureSummit workshops will be based on brainstorming key issues, through a cross-sectorial thinking process brought forward by the participants. On day one, workshops will focus on elaborating on the major questions posed in the plenary sessions. What do participants feel needs to be asked about how culture and technology can be effective for society across disciplines? On the second day of the Summit, the workshops will seek answers to those questions. The last day, the workshops will develop concrete and impactful actions taken by cultural leaders, artists, institutions, governments and other actors to help shape a productive and meaningful agenda for the Summit.