The Festival Forum
21st and 22nd June 2019, from 9am to 1:30 pm, Hôtel Atlas Essaouira & Spa “Salle La Caravelle” Free admission subject to capacity.
The Forum is a space of freedom and exchange, and has welcomed participants from all backgrounds since its creation. Since 2012, over 150 young and less young individuals have shared their experiences, reflections, visions and aspirations. Though most have come from Africa, but also from the Arab states, Europe and America, these women and men make the Forum an opportunity the share their expertise and to consider specific issues that impact our societies, with humility and humanism rather than shorthand or platitudes. They are artists, literary people, philosophers, musicians, poets and filmmakers who have come to debate with professors, researchers, anthropologists, historians, sociologists, policy-makers. These debates are enriched, year after year, by citizens’ and State representatives: ministers, parliamentarians, elected officials, ambassadors, community activists, unionists, ordinary citizens.… For eight consecutive years, during the course of two intense morning sessions, free speech rules in a spirit of listening, citizenship, commitment and empathy.
The Human Rights Forum is organised by the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival in collaboration with the National Human Rights Council.
2012 – Societies in movement, free cultures
2013 – Societies in movement, the world’s youth
2014 – Africa rising
2015 – Women of Africa: creating, undertaking
2016 – African diasporas: roots, mobility, attachment
2017 – Creativity and cultural policy in the digital era
2018 – The imperative of equality
The Forum - 2019 edition
The power of culture to fight the culture of violence
Religious extremism, urban violence, ethnic aggressions, xenophobia, homophobia…the global context is becoming increasingly violent. Violence of action as well as violence of words, including exchanges between nations.
This violence is amplified by the development of social media, but also by the frenetic competition between 24-hour news channels and new and unconfirmed information sources.
These questions and acts of violence are the challenge of our time. No security-oriented response can truly counteract so much violence and incomprehension. The question is thus: what is the role of culture in fighting against barbarianism? How to teach respect for differences and tolerance? To remove misunderstandings between antagonistic communities? To make space for dialog, how do we open up to each other?
Throughout the history of humanity, culture has been at the centre of conflict and violence. It is no accident that culture is the first target of attack by invaders and extremists. In the same vein, is it not by means of culture that populations are reborn? Is it not through culture that people can rediscover peace and dialog?
These are the questions to be addressed in this brand-new edition of the Human Rights Forum of the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival.
Artists, academics and local political actors from Morocco, the Maghreb, the Arab region, Africa and other regions of the globe will come to Essaouira to bear witness, exchange ideas and consider – together – the responsibility of cultural stakeholders to curb such violence, and to strive for peaceful coexistence.