This year’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development comes at a time of uncertainty and anxiety.
For many, the closure of public spaces, cultural institutions and performance and concert halls has led to a constriction of cultural space and increased seclusion.
Fortunately, the technical means we have at our disposal today make it possible for those who are able to benefit from them to compensate for the narrowness of confined spaces. We have thus seen initiatives blossom that have renewed interest in cultural practices around the world, and highlighted their abundant richness. By dint of coordinated action, original initiatives and creativity, this imposed downtime has made it possible to see what is one of humanity’s riches: our diversity.
Although COVID-19 has not succeeded in curbing dialogue among cultures, the long-term consequences of the crisis, especially in economic terms, might inflict severe damage on diversity, as periods of crisis are conducive to concentration and standardization. It is this insidious threat that looms.
Without significant support, structures will disappear, opportunities to stimulate and hear different ways of seeing and feeling will be missed, cultural diversity may be diminished, and humanity will be the poorer for it.
We must therefore protect diversity without delay before it is too late. This is why
UNESCO has launched the ResiliArt movement, whose purpose is to find ways of
fostering the protection and promotion of cultural diversity in these difficult times. By
bringing together artists, cultural professionals, governments, non-governmental
organizations and the private sector to reflect together on the impact of the pandemic,
the future of cultural diversity is being developed through collective intelligence and
joint cultural building.
The current crisis must lead to a new awareness and new efforts to ensure the
development and continuation of varied cultural forms and flourishing cultural
structures, as the crisis has in fact brought to light difficulties that were often already
On this 21 May, World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development,
UNESCO appeals to all: together, let us celebrate and support cultural diversity, the
symbol of our humanity.