“Diverse As We Are” – International Festival of Inclusive Culture (DAWA) is a joint project funded by European Spaces of Culture and EUNIC, supported by the EU Delegation in Beijing, organized, implemented, and supported by over 30 Shanghai based cultural partners and institutions from Europe, China, and the world.
May 21 is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Every year, the international community and people around the world highlight the significance of cultural richness. So, let’s unlock stereotypes in our minds, and celebrate the diversity of cultural expressions, and the creative potential of cultural diversity together.
This year, a group of over 30 Shanghai based cultural partners and institutions from Europe, China and the world, are excited to launch “Diverse As We Are” – International Festival of Inclusive Culture (DAWA), the first international festival of its kind in China that embraces diversity, social inclusion and equal participation.
The DAWA Festival and all its partners share the values of diversity, inclusion, accessibility, sustainability and equality. We strongly believe in the power of people-to-people dialogue, and bring artists, and creatives with and without disabilities in a cross-cultural exchange with the cultural scene and audience in Shanghai.
Together, we have organized a festival program that is as accessible as possible by providing sign language interpretation, audio descriptions, accessible venues, and other access services because DAWA is for everyone, and everyone is welcome!
The DAWA Festival is scheduled to take place from 15 to 25 September, 2022 in Shanghai. The program will present over 35 contributions and events from artists with and without disabilities hailing from Europe, China, and the rest of world. The festival will feature various performances, exhibitions, sports events, workshops, movies, and public discussions.
The DAWA Festival promotes the visibility and representation of diverse artists and creative groups, and includes a variety of perspectives and artistic expressions in an accessible and equitable cultural environment.
“Diverse As We Are” – International Festival of Inclusive Culture (DAWA) is a project within European Spaces of Culture, which aims to test and implement innovative models of collaboration in culture between European actors – EUNIC members and EU Delegations – and local partners in non-EU countries, delivering the EU strategic approach to international cultural relations.
European Spaces of Culture is a Preparatory Action initiated by the European Parliament, implemented by EUNIC in close collaboration with the European Commission and the European External Action Service. EUNIC – European Union National Institutes for Culture – is Europe’s network of national cultural institutes, with 38 members from all EU Member States and associate countries.
Joint Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Borrell and Commissioners Gabriel and Urpilainen
Cultural diversity is one of the cornerstones of the European Union and one of its greatest assets. It is crucial to constantly nurture and cherish cultural diversity for the advancement of freedom, democracy, peace, prosperity, innovation and creativity.
Diversity is a great strength, but it is also fragile. In the past few months, we have witnessed the deliberate destruction of Ukrainian culture, of its institutions and its heritage by Russia’s unjustified military aggression. We have reacted swiftly to help protect Ukrainian cultural heritage, as well as to support Ukraine’s creative industry with several of our support measures.
The destruction witnessed in Ukraine and in other parts of the world goes against everything that culture and diversity stand for. It undermines dialogue, mutual understanding and human rights. It shows how destruction of cultural goods is more than just an act of aggression in a war. It is an attempt to undermine an identity. We condemn Russia’s actions in the strongest terms.
This year, the European Year of Youth, we celebrate the unique potential of culture to connect and support young people to lead positive changes in their communities and societies. Through performance, storytelling, songs or films, they transform behaviours and mentalities. They accelerate and foster sustainable development towards greener, fairer and more cohesive societies.
Thriving culture can bring innovation and sustainable growth to cities, regions and communities. The Creative Europe Programme safeguards, develops and promotes European cultural and linguistic diversity and competitiveness of the sectors through cultural activities, active participation, mobility and exchanges.
The EU supports reconciliation, dialogue and recovery of communities across the world, including through EU initiatives focused on rehabilitating cultural heritage in post-conflict.
We are committed to protecting and promoting culture and making it widely accessible to all. We will protect and safeguard cultural heritage. Without it, there will be no lasting peace.