IGCAT presented at the World Summit on Arts and Culture in Chile

IGCAT participated in the World Summit on Arts and Culture that took place in Santiago de Chile, 13th-16th January 2014. The theme of the summit was Creative Times – new models for cultural development. Nearly 500 participants from diverse countries and cultures from around the world debated the role of culture in cultural development.

The sobering truth that culture can be the source and vehicle of conflict was not forgotten in Chile. However, the role of the arts and cultures in supporting values such as respect, inclusion, pride, sharing, fairness as well as more practical processes important for development such as dialogue, trade, tourism, visibility and education were explored and debated in the context of the current revision of the Millennium Goals.

This World Summit clearly demonstrated that the role of food in cultural development has grown in recognition. Throughout the three day gathering, many of the presentations from all around the world referred to food, food cultures and food experiences both as a source of culture and cultural development. This makes the work of IGCAT – International Institute for Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism even more pertinent and urgent. IGCAT had its own platform at the World Summit, on Wednesday 15th January, Dr. Diane Dodd (Director of ART-idea, a partner organisation of IGCAT) had the opportunity to present IGCAT’s aims and forthcoming activities in an open session to an international gathering.

The co-hosts of the 6th World Summit on Arts and Culture, the Consejo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes (CNCA) ensured that attendees had the opportunity to experience part of Chile’s identity and culture ‘in one bite’.  “Because a nation’s food is an essential part of its culture, Fundacion Imagen de Chile, a Chilean non-profit organization, and a partner and collaborator of the Summit, developed the concept Chile in One Bite, as a way to present the wide range of the country’s gastronomic culture, with the best and most representative products of Chile’s different regions.”

The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) organise a World Summit on Arts and Culture every 2-3 years and these generally take place in a different continent each time. The next World Summit on Arts and Culture  will take place in Valletta, Malta in 2016 – when no doubt, the UNESCO approved ‘Mediterranean diet’ will prove its link to intangible heritage.