To promote cultural diversity and mutual understanding between cultures, a signing ceremony of the EUNIC (European National Institutes for Culture) Cluster members was held in the Franco-German Embassy on Wednesday 11 July 2018.
The ceremony took place in the presence of H.E. Rensje Teerink, Ambassador of the EU Delegation, H.E. Marie-Annick Bourdin, Ambassador of the Republic of France, H.E. Alison Blake, British High Commissioner and H.E. Thomas Heinrich Prinz, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh was present as the chief guest. The Alliance Française, British Council and Goethe-Institut are vibrant places hosting a wide range of activities and collaborate regularly as the three EUNIC Cluster founding members in Bangladesh.
EUNIC Bangladesh aims to overcome the lack of visibility and presence of the EU in the cultural sphere with programmes focusing on the intrinsic values of the European identity with a range Bangladeshi partners and stakeholders. Through the development of common cultural projects and stronger partnerships, based on the founding values of the European Union, the EUNIC Bangladesh Cluster aims to connect Bangladeshis with a cultural practice that creates impact all over the world.
On the occasion, Barbara Wickham, Director Bangladesh, British Council said, “Bangladesh possesses a rich heritage and culture, and for almost 70 years the British Council has been working to support a greater international appreciation of this heritage. Our recent initiative to develop a map of the creative industries in Bangladesh, in partnership with the government, will help lay a strong foundation as we work with the Alliance Francaise and Goethe Institut to further promote and advocate for the value of architectural and cultural heritage to enhance cross-cultural exchange, increase skills collaboration and support growth in this important sector.”
Bruno Plasse, Director, Alliance Française de Dhaka said, “Alliance Française de Dhaka is made of three centres in town, recording about 6000 enrolments to French classes and organises about 100 cultural events in a year. We are very excited to join hands with the British Council and Goethe-Institut in creating EUNIC Bangladesh to foster relations between people of Europe and of Bangladesh and to join hand on cultural and education projects."
Kirsten Hackenbroch,Institute Director of Goethe-Institut said “Goethe-Institut Bangladesh is looking forward to concerted European action with partners in Bangladesh on both cultural heritage and language teaching. In the past, Goethe-Institut and Alliance Francaise have cooperatively led projects and workshops on the tangible heritage of Bangladesh, e.g. on fashion design, architectural heritage or jute furnitures. The formation of EUNIC Bangladesh now offers the opportunity to expand and intensify the collaboration with our Bangladeshi partner organisations.”
The Alliance Française, British Council and Goethe-Institut, all three members have been regularly cooperating with country’s different festivals like Chobi Mela, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka Lit Fest, Classical Music Festival, Dhaka Folk Music Festival, South Asian Art Biennale.
EUNIC will collaborate with local organisations, such as the Urban Study Group in Dhaka, to promote the value of architectural heritage and the protection of cultural heritage. EUNIC will advocate for the establishment of a National Heritage Day with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs to facilitate access to buildings under the control of different authorities that are usually closed to the public. EUNIC will support schools through programmes to raise awareness on cultural heritage with both students and teachers.