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The Observatory of Cultural Diversity

Considering global discussions on the protection and promotion of cultural diversity, the Observatory for Cultural Diversity (ODC) began operations in 2005 as an extension project, coordinated by Professor José Márcio Barros of the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas). Over its five years,

it has held numerous training activities, research and information. It also organizes the Cultural Diversity Seminar, with six editions already concluded, and publishes books on the subject. It was recently recognized by the German Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

Organization – UNESCO, and the Asia-Europe Foundation – ASEF through a project of the U40, as one of 39 initiatives considered successful experiences and contributing to the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions around the world.

Activities Timeline


The ODC’s first initiatives focused on achieving academic debates on the topic of diversity in the cultural field.

Among the activities performed in its formative year of 2005 is a series of discussions and meetings between researchers working on the theme of Cultural Diversity and the students of PUC Minas Social Sciences Course. The institute was to foster debates and discussions tangent to cultural issues;included among the participants were Gisele Dupin (MinC) and Clarice Libanius (Projeto Favela é isso ai).

The first seminar on Cultural Diversity was held in partnership with Brazil’s Ministry of Culture, ONG International GERM – Studies and Research Globalizations Group, and the support of the School of Legislature. The seminar followed the UNESCO Assembly which voted for the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.


It developed research on the habits of cultural consumption as well as evaluating and monitoring the process of youth training from cultural groups, followed by an assesment of quality and applicability of the lectured contents in collaboration with the Redemuim Project and the collective C.R.I.ARTE which acts specific ally in the Serra’s conglomerate reigon, in Belo Horizonte.

Publication of “Cultural Diversity – the international debate for it’s preservation”, by PUC Minas.


In 2007 The Observatory for Cultural Diversity promoted the second edition of the Culutral Diversity Seminar. This time with the theme “Education, Human Development, Music and Dance”. Among the speakers included Jurema Machado (IDHS – Institute for Sustainable Human Development), Luciano Baniwa Gersen (anthropologist and representative of the indigenous community of Baniwa), Alfredo Manevy (MinC), Tânia Dauster (PUC-RJ) and Sergio Mamberti (Secretary of SID/MinC).

Also promoted were Circuits (IN)Formation and (TRANS)Formation, with the presence of Tailze Melo, Renata Alencar, Nísio Teixeira and Cristina Machado. Included were the themes: “Culture and communication in the contemporary world: insufficiency and excess”,” Culture and the city: trade flows and borders “,” Cinema around the world: an aesthetic and historical overview ” and “Dance Workshop: The body as a travelling site. “

It held the Development and Cultural Management Course, through the Thinking and Acting with Culture Program, in Brumadinho, Ipatinga, Pirapora, Sete Lagoas and Sabará.

It held the I Thinking and Acting with Culture Seminar: Reigonalization of Financial Mechsnisms of Culture, which featured the speakers: Sylvana Person, president of CTAP, and Maria das Dores Nogueira, superintendent of internalization of the SEC.


In 2008, the III Semeinar on Cultural Diversity was promoted with the presence of names such as José Américo Cordula (SID / MINC), Clarah Averbuck (writer), Braulio Tavares (researcher, Lia Calabria (researcher), Ulrike Agathe Schröder (musician – Germany). Not long after it resulted in the publication of the book “Diversidade Cultural – da proteção á promoção” by Autêntica Publisher.

It promoted the second edition of Circuits (IN)Formation and (TRANS)Formation, with guests such as Bernado da Mata Machado, Agnes Karkasvolgyi, Lauro Meller, among others.

Development and Cultural Management Course, through the Thinking and Acting with Culture Program was held in Belo Horizonte, Contagem, João Monlevade, Bom Despacho, Araçuai e Vespasiano.

It held the II Thinking and Acting with Culture Seminar: Economic Crisis and Culture Funding , with the presence of speakers Ana Carla Fonseca (SP), economist and administrator, and Isaura Botelho (SP), researcher.


In 2009 the Observatory for Cultural Diversity expanded their actions in the field of training, promoting various other activities, courses and workshops. In keeping with tradition, it held the fourth edition of the Cultural Diversity Seminar with the theme “Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of UNESCO.”

The mini-course “Educating for Diversity: Art, Culture and Education” was conducted, with David Dolpi (teacher UFOP) and Gil Amancio (Musician, Actor, Educator) promoting again the workshops “Creative Processes and Cultural Diversity” and “Circular Dances”.

It held a seminar entitled “Networks, Collective and collaborative action: Digital Culture, electronic art and cultural diversity in tension and expansion in the contemporary world”, with André Brazil (PhD in Social Communication), Geanne Alzamora (PhD in Communication and Semiotics) Nísio and Teixeira (PhD of Information Sciences).

A series of travelling seminars were organized with the following themes: “Biodiversity and cultural diversity,” with Milton Nogueira (former UN official, executive secretary of the Forum on Global Climate Change of Minas Gerais; “To sing and dialogue with diversity” with Eda Costa (singer, art educator of PUC Minas School of Theatre), “Intercultural Communication: fundamentals and applications”, with Ulrike Schröder (PhD in Communication, researcher and professor at the Faculty of Language Arts of UFMG.)

It held the course “Conceptual Training” in the cities of Vitória, Serra, Cariacica (Espírito Santo) and Belo Horizonte among the topics: “Concepts, Diversity and Development”, “Public policies to promote and protect cultural diversity” and “Cultural Manager Training with an emphasis on cultural diversity”.

It promoted several lectures to launch the books “Diversidade Cultural – da proteção à promoção” and “As mediações da Cultura”, organized by José Márcio Barros and also organized the workshops “Experiments” and “Communication for Diversity”;

In October and November, through a new action it offered roundtables in Belo Horizonte, Contagem (Minas Gerais) and Vitória (Espírito Santo). Among the topics discussed: “Public Policies for Promotion of Cultural Diversity”, with Piatã Stoklos Kignel and Luciana Amormino; “Experiment Laboratories – Pair” with Renata Alencar, Tailze Melo, Eda Costa, Luciano Luppi, Rui Moreira, Gil Amâncio, Gustavo Jardim, Dellani Lima and Cristina Machado; “Concepts, Diversity and Development”, with José Márcio Barros and Giselle Duppin. It promoted in the 1st semester, the Course Development and Cultural Management, through the Thinking and Acting with Culture program in Belo Horizonte, Ouro Preto, São João del Rei and Paracatu.

ODC also held the following events:

III Seminar – Thinking and Acting with Culture: Public Culture Policies in Minas Gerais, which featured speakers Sylvana Pessoa and Maria das Dores Nogueira.

Preparatory Seminar for Municipal Conference of Culture of São João del Rei, a partnership between the Thinking and Acting with Culture Project, City Hall and the Federal University of São João del Rei, which featured the speakers Bernardo da Mata Machado, José Márcio Barros and Eurilinda Gomes Figueiredo.

Development and Cultural Management Course, through Thinking and Acting with Culture Program in Belo Horizonte, Juiz de Fora, Sabará, São José do Goiabal and Uberlândia.

IV Thinking and Acting with Culture Seminar: Challenges for the Management of Culture, with the presence of the speakers Eliane Parreiras, Rodrigo Barroso, Cesária Macedo, Bernardo da Mata Machado and José Milton Santos.

Seminars entitled “Cultural Diversity – understanding the Convention” were held during 2009 with the Secretary of Identity and Cultural Diversity and the Ministry of Culture of Brazil, which gathered over 1,000 participants in five cities (Belo Horizonte, MG / Sousa, PB / Boa Vista , RR / Campo Grande, MS / São Paulo , SP).


In 2010, the Observatory of Cultural Diversity continued acting with training in Belo Horizonte and Espírito Santo and expanded to Piracicaba in São Paulo, promoting a series of courses in partnership with ArcelorMittal and City Hall.

In February, it launched several activities in Vila Velha, Espírito Santo, such as “Laboratories of Communication for Diversity” and the course “Networks, digital culture and cooperation for Diversity”.

During the first semester, the course Development and Cultural Management was held through the Thinking and Acting with Culture Program in Belo Horizonte, Itauna, Juiz de Fora, Monlevade and Teofilo Otoni.

It held the V Seminar Thinking and Acting with Culture: Public Policies for Culture: Progress and Challenges in Brazil and Minas Gerais, which featured speakers Isaura Botelho, Chico Pelúcio, José Márcio Barros and Maria Helena Cunha.

In May, it promoted the V Seminar on Cultural Diversity, bringing names like Luiz A. Albornoz, from Carlos III University of Madrid and the Observatory of Culture and Communication; Gilson Schwartz, from USP; Laure Emperaire, from Institute of Research for Development; Jurema Machado, from UNESCO and Gustavo Lins, from UNB.

In June and July, ODC promoted many courses, workshops and lectures in Contagem (Minas Gerais) on topics such as “Cultural Managers Training with an emphasis on cultural diversity”, “Communication and cultural diversity” and “Education for cultural diversity”. It also held in the 2nd semester the course Development and Cultural Management through Thinking and Acting with Culture Program in Belo Horizonte, and the course Specialization – Continuing Education in Bom Despacho.

In August, the coordinator of the Observatory of Cultural Diversity, José Márcio Barros lectured on “Diversity and Cultural Mediation”, giving the kickoff for the various activities in Piracicaba (São Paulo). Throughout September, October and November, a series of activities were held in the city, such as the courses “Cultural Management and Diversity”, “Diversity and Human Development”, “Public Policies and Civil Society”, “Humor, Cartoons and Cultural Diversity”, among others.

In November, the Observatory of Cultural Diversity received the German Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO and the Asia- Europe Foundation – ASEF through a project of the U-40, international recognition by successful experiences that contribute to the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expressions around the world. There were 39 actions covered all over the world. In Brazil, only four were selected (in addition to ODC, the website Overmundo, the project Video in the Villages and Living Culture Program, with traveling seminars conducted by the Department of Identity and Cultural Diversity of the Ministry of Culture – MinC, through all regions in Brazil, an initiative that had a partnership with the ODC). Because of this the Observatory gained prominence in the publication “Mapping of cultural diversity: good practices around the globe” a document that assesses the implementation of the measures proposed by the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions of UNESCO.


It promoted the lecture “Culture, Heritage and Development” at Sabará 300 years Forum “Tourism and Sustainability”.

It independently held the course Development and Cultural Management in Belo Horizonte without the use of resources of incentive laws.

It participated in the 2nd Meeting of the Forum of Culture Managers of the Capitals of the Northern Region which was held on May 31 and June 1.

It promoted a series of debates on “Culture and Development” by the Observatory of Cultural Diversity.

It participated in the course “Management and Cultural Policies” with the lecture “Policies and management of cultural diversity; Overcoming Intolerance”.

It conducted the lecture: Public Policy and Civil Society – Experiences Panel: Rio Branco / Acre, Municipal Culture System – José Márcio Barros, from ODC, and Eurilinda Figueiredo.

It offered the course Cultural Management Journeys in Extrema (MG), Belém (PA) and Araguaina (TO).

It held the Collaborative Communication workshop.

It participated in the “Democratic Forum for the Development of Minas Gerais”.

It participated in “Youth Seminar: protagonisms , transformations and challenges”.

It participated in the “Cultural Policies of Minas Gerais Forum”.

It participated in the “Cultural Management and Policies Week”, when the coordinator of ODC, José Márcio Barros spoke on “Culture and human development: challenges for management” during the course for culture managers and representatives of cultural institutions.


It presented the results of the 1st stage of the survey “Public Policies Mapping for Cultural Diversity – Case Study of Belo Horizonte”, conducted with funds from the Municipal Law for Promotion of Culture of Belo Horizonte, Cultural Projects Fund Modality.

Participation in the Cultural Policies of Minas Gerais Forum in the cities of Uberlândia, Divinópolis, Montes Claros, Pocos de Caldas, Almenara and Juiz de Fora.

It held the course Development and Cultural Management – Thinking and Acting with Culture.

It launched the book “Pensar e Agir com a Cultura: desafios da gestão cultural”.

Participation in the seminar ArteHoje 2012 in Ouro Preto.

It conducted the workshop “The ludic, the memory and the diversity – ways to play and remember” from July 9th to 13th during the Winter Festival of Ouro Preto and Mariana.

It conducted the participatory mapping in Cubatão.

Participation in the National Seminar and Workshop of Indication of Public Policies for Culture and


Participation in the seminar “Thoughts and Actions – International Seminar on Culture and Education”, in São Paulo.


It launched the book “Do Chico ao Pop: Jornalismo e Cultura no Acre” by journalist Giselle Lucena.

It conducted two editions of the course Development and Cultural Management – Thinking and Acting

with Culture.

It conducted the workshops “Houses, yards and memories: diving into the space of vividness and diversity” and “Collaborative Working and Networking: different and convergent”, from July 15th to 19th during the Winter Festival of Ouro Preto and Mariana 2013.

It presented the results of the 2nd stage of the study “Public Policies Mapping for Cultural Diversity – Case Study of Belo Horizonte”.


It conducted two editions of the Course Development and Cultural Management – Thinking and Acting with Culture

It conducted the VII Seminar on Cultural Diversity, on 21-23 May, with discussions, short courses and lecture. In its seventh edition, the seminar brought to discussion cultural diversity issues, such as public space, subjectivity, audiovisual market, urban social movements, institutions, public policies and communications.

Closing Seminar – Course Development and Cultural Management 2014 edition / 1st semester: Debate “The challenges of cultural management” held at Memorial Minas Gerais Vale. The seminar was attended by the manager of the Circuito Cultural Praça da Liberdade, Fabrício Santos, producer of Memorial Minas Gerais Vale, Mariano Felipe, and the coordinator of the ODC, José Márcio Barros.

In April, Itaú Cultural held in partnership with the Centro de Arte Popular – Cemig and the Observatory of Cultural Diversity, the Management and Cultural Policy Week, in Belo Horizonte. The meetings covered five central pillars of the current cultural scene in Brazil: cultural and political participation; public training for culture; planning and cultural management; creative and new clusters in the culture; and culture, rights and institutionalities. Among the guests were present: Albino Rubim, Jose Marcio Barros, Bernardo da Mata Machado, Isaura Botelho, Ana Paula do Val, Alexandre Barreto and Humberto Cunha.

It launched of the The Observatory of Cultural Diversity Journal. The magazine will integrate the actions of ODC in the areas of training, research and information, focused on the protection and promotion of cultural diversity. Associated with the defense of culture as law, communicative action enhances the convergence of actors that are articulated in this new space of virtual interaction for reflection and sharing of meanings attached to symbolic, economic and cultural dimensions of citizenship. The first edition features 15 articles and can be accessed here: http://observatoriodadiversidade.org.br/revista/

Closing Seminar – Course Development and Cultural Management 2014 edition / 2nd semester: Management and trajectory of Grupo Espanca!: discussion with Gustavo Bones, students and teachers of the course, held at the Teatro Espanca!.

Link permanente para este artigo: http://observatoriodadiversidade.org.br/site/institucional/history/