South American artistic and cultural groups in Bolivia to promote living cultures

May 7, 2013

There are more than 120,000 experiences and organizations from the civil society working in the production and distribution of cultural goods in Latin America. These initiatives annually  mobilize around 200 million people but they don’t have an adequate recognition from their governments and there are not public policies to support them.

These issues will be discussed in the first Latin American Congress of Community Living Cultures (1er Congreso Latinoamericano de Cultura Viva Comunitaria). This activity has the strong support of the regional Hivos office in South America. From the 17th of May, almost 1.000 representatives of art and culture from all over Latin America will gather in La Paz (Bolivia) to promote the participation of civil society in the processes of living cultures. They will also demand public policies to support and multiply these local initiatives within communities and mainland territories.
The Cultura Viva Comunitaria is neither an association nor a union of artists. It’s a concept of autonomy for local artistic and cultural initiatives. Culture not as a synonym of fine arts or as a market product but as a symbolic citizen’s production that aims to social transformation. Culture is present in everything and in everyone. That’s why Cultura Viva Comunitaria integrates street art collectives, local theater, music and dance groups; digital activist and radio and television channels that are bound to the community.
More than 1.000 delegates from networks of Cultura Viva Comunitaria from all the continent will come to Bolivia to share their experiences, strengthen their movements and request to their governments at least the 0.1% of their national budgets to promote Cultura Viva Comunitaria. 
Hivos regularly organizes regional conferences for key actors from the cultural sector as part of the Cultural Networks activities of our Expression and Engagement programme. Hivos encourages the formation of (inter)national and regional networks where artists can share ideas, creative processes and practices. This is crucial not only for the development of the arts, but also for the promotion of freedom of expression. 
Watch a video about Cultura Viva Comunitaria (ES):