Culture

In 2022, the World Heritage Convention marks its 50th anniversary. The 1,154 natural and cultural heritage sites in over 160 countries are the testament to the universal appreciation and achievement of this groundbreaking legal framework. UNESCO has launched a year-long programme to galvanize profound reflections on the future of heritage titled “The Next 50: World Heritage as a source of resilience, humanity and innovation.” The Next 50 culminates in Florence, Italy, with a major conference in November in tribute to the adoption of the Convention on 16 November 1972.

image of architectural plans for rebuilding Mosul

In 2018, UNESCO launched a flagship initiative to Revive the Spirit of Mosul. On the 5th anniversary of the liberation of Mosul from the shackles of violent extremism, UNESCO and its main partner, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), present the visuals of the Al-Nouri Mosque and the Al-Hadba Minaret, currently being reconstructed as they were. The mosque and the minaret will be rebuilt using the maximum of traditional materials and reusing the heritage elements that were found and collected in the rubble.

library

Following the evaluation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has designated Strasbourg (France) as World Book Capital for 2024.

library

Following the evaluation of the World Book Capital Advisory Committee, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, has designated Strasbourg (France) as World Book Capital for 2024.

In turbulent times one feelgood gesture has connected populations across the globe. The simple act of sharing a cup of tea. We prepare tea in many ways, but this ancient ritual stretches beyond cultures. Tea is a culture in itself. Tea is bonding.

UNESCO helps strengthen the cultural and creative industries and promotes South-South cooperation to support developing countries to: design, adapt and/or implement regulatory frameworks for the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs); strengthen skills and; and create peer-to-peer mechanisms.

Ingrid sits in costume while another woman helps her put on a large and colourful headpiece

The Salgueiro samba school, whose theme for this year’s parade was the fight against racism, invited 20 refugees as part of a partnership with UNHCR, to promote integration of refugees into the country. Refugees from Syria, Venezuela, Angola and DR Congo took part in perhaps the most Brazilian of all events – the all-night-explosion of music, drumming, and dancing that is Rio’s annual Carnival parade.  Brazil is home to refugees from 88 countries and has received an estimated 325,000 refugees and migrants from Venezuela, in recent years.

Children sit or lay drawing on a mat outdoors

There may be no universal understanding of creativity. The concept is open to interpretation from artistic expression to problem-solving in the context of economic, social and sustainable development. Nonetheless, creativity and culture also contribute as a highly transformative sector of the world economy in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings. Therefore, the United Nations designated 21 April as World Creativity and Innovation Day (21 April) to raise the awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.

mud volcanoes

In Romania, the hilly and mountainous territory of the Buzău Land UNESCO Global Geopark is one of the 8 new designations. One of the most geodynamically active areas in Europe, the geopark exhibits 40 million years of geological history. Over this period, it ectonic movements pushed up mountains and transformed a deep-sea environment into a terrestrial one. Its rich geodiversity has influenced a unique cultural heritage with local legends in which mud volcanoes (shown here) become dragons, mud boilers are traps made by giants to catch cattle, and the future can be predicted by looking through a lens of amber. 

A boy reads a book in front of stacks of other books.

Through reading we can open ourselves to others despite distance, and we can travel thanks to the imagination. The pandemic has also reminded us all of the importance of books and reading for comfort and escapism. UNESCO encourages you to challenge yourself, to explore new topics, formats, or genres that out of your ordinary. Our goal is to engage people in reading, and to have fun doing so! For this World Book and Copyright Day (23 April), UNESCO has created a #bookface challenge. Take a picture of yourself with a book cover so it blends into your reality.

A woman speaks on a mike on stage.

After launching ‘African Folktales, Reimagined, the ground-breaking competition to find some of Sub-Saharan Africa’s up and coming filmmakers, Netflix and UNESCO announce the six winners.

A white building with green and gold domes.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, UNESCO has taken action to protect culture. The first challenge is to mark cultural heritage sites and monuments as protected.

abstract illustration of human figures

The pandemic has proven the intrinsic value of the cultural and creative sector at generating social cohesion, education, or personal well-being in times of crisis. It has also undermined the sector’s potential to generate economic growth, something which is too often underestimated. This global crisis has also demonstrated the significant challenges that need to be met to ensure that a diversity of cultural expressions around the world is preserved. A new UNESCO report, Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity, calls on governments to ensure economic and social protection for artists and cultural professionals.

The 3rd edition of the Health for All Film Festival calls for submissions until 30 January 2022. Sharon Stone, actress and activist from the USA, will be part of the new jury. In this message, Sharon encourages everyone to submit their short films: NGOs, public institutions, universities, students, communities of scientists, health workers or patients and their families, film makers, production institutions, and film schools from around the world.

people performing music and dance on stage

Inscription on the lists promotes the safeguarding of knowledge and skills necessary for traditional craftsmanship and cultural practices transmitted from generation to generation, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe. At this session of the intergovernmental committee four elements were inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and 39 elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.