the themes— desa, kala, patra — will be divided into six sub-themes, and one plenary session, which is aimed to produce a statement on synchronizing the rhythms of people and development.
The Symposium: “Harmonizing Culture into the Sustainable Development Mainstream”
Desa Within this session, participants are facilitated to debate on the cultural meanings of space. Observation is the keyword as it is expected that participants bring with them fruits of observation about everyday life in villages from all over the world. Matters of ecology, demography, and economy are to be highlighted, as participants discuss the production and representation of space, as well as movement through space. This session is divided into two sub-themes.
Sub-Theme 1: Reviving Culture for Rural Sustainability
In this sub-theme of the symposia, the participants are invited to discuss the plurality of practices and experimentation on sustainable development at the village level. There are many local experience which sheds new light on developmental issues such as the role of women in village governance (e.g. Noiva de Cordeiro, a village in Brazil which is governed autonomously by women) and popular participation in local government (e.g. Marinaleda, a village in Spain in which popular participation of all its people constitutes the main framework for governance). There is also the Indonesian experience which centers on the paradigm that development should proceed from the periphery in order to secure the welfare equality between provinces. This platform thus aims to articulate the link between culture and sustainable development and hopefully provides the means to open access for self-transformation.
Sub-Theme 2: Water for Life: Reconciling Socio-Economic Growth and Environmental Ethics
This sub-theme of the symposia challenges the participants to discuss the role of water as the axis of life that ties together the social structure of the everyday life. Water is one fundamental element of economic growth, and as such it is imperative to articulate and plan the idea of progress and development that is in sync with water as part of the everyday life and tradition. By inviting speakers that both engage in environmental activism and master the knowledge on water system as part of the everyday life and tradition, participants are expected to think about the entanglement between the expanding economy, system of governance, and the people and environment.
Kala Within this session, participants are facilitated to debate on cultural meanings of time. Teachers and teachings are the keywords as it is expected that participants bring forward various configurations of the everyday life around the world. Matters of history, urban space as well as digital humanity are to be put forward as participants discuss moments, events, and durations (durées). This session is divided into two sub-themes.
Sub Theme 3: Interweaving History, Urban Space and Cultural Movement
In this sub-theme of the symposia, the participants are invited to discuss the significant roles of culture within the corridor of socio-political transformation as well as articulating the imagination of development that gives space for history and historicity. The emphasis on history and historicity is given as the two have been much neglected in the discussion of development and the time has called for the integration of history and culture for sustainable development.
Sub Theme 4:Culture in the New Digital World
In this sub-theme of the symposia, the participants are invited to delve into the cultural ramifications of contemporary digital world. In this era, there are many new forms of cultural practices which center on the notion of sharing and open access, precipitated by the rising new mode of communication — the internet. This new culture of sharing and openness could be seen as a sign of increased public participation in contemporary culture. To what extent this new digital culture and artistic practices can contribute something towards sustainable development shall be explored thoroughly in this session.
Patra Within this session, participants are facilitated to debate on cultural meanings of knowledge and thinking. Reason is the keyword as it is expected that participants use different ways of thinking about everyday life within the world. Matters of politics, public initiatives, and institutions are expected to fuel the discussion. This session is divided into two sub-themes.
Sub-Theme 5: Reconciling State, Community and Cultural Divides
In this sub-theme of the symposia, the participants are invited to discuss the variety of cultural initiatives which have significant impacts on developmental issues. There are two kinds of cultural practices that belong to this category: a cultural practice initiated by the government. and the one pioneered by the citizen themselves or by the NGO. Initiatives such as these proved very helpful for the advancement of a context-sensitive model of development. With these cultural movements, the state could synchronize its developmental plan with the day-to-day cultural concerns of the citizen. This theme is expected to raise issues, along with complexities and challenges, in an attempt to reconcile the state, community and cultural divides.
Sub-Theme 6: Cultural Diversity for Responsible Development
This sub-theme provides a platform to discuss the issues of cultural diversity that has increasingly become a factual condition in many places and the way to think about cultural diversity as a cultural strategy that is in lieu with the spirit of development and address development in ways that go beyond a mere material wealth and instead aim to pursue a more equitable and sustainable world as well as a more fulfilled existence. At the same time, participants are invited to think beyond cultural diversity and dig deeper in the discussion into the human elements of development and the future of the human race with its transformative effects on earth.
Plenary Discussion At the general assembly, participants are encouraged to produce a statement about cultural diversity as both precondition and platform for debate about development, which pays serious attention to matters of space, time, and reason. At the end of the symposia, general summary of the six sub-themes shall be presented to the participants and efforts will be made to produce a collective statement to respond that summary and take things further toward commitment and action.