Culture as a ‘global public good’: MONDIACULT 2022

What role did Australians play in MONDIACULT, the UN's conference on cultures, convened for a first in 50-years.

At the very moment a new international consensus was being reached affirming culture as a ‘global public good’, the Russian president was railing against ‘Satanic’ culture in a ‘deranged’ speech annexing Ukrainian territory by force.

The historic ‘Declaration for Culture’, adopted unanimously by 150 UNESCO Member States, was followed by a statement by 55 States calling for Russia’s immediate withdrawal from Ukraine. When Russia responded, there was a mass exodus by the gathered delegates, including Australia, captured here by the UN Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights

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Esther Anatolitis is one of Australia’s most influential advocates for arts and culture. She is Editor of Meanjin, Honorary Associate Professor at RMIT School of Art, and a member of the National Gallery of Australia Governing Council. Esther has led arts and media organisations across all artforms, including Express Media, the Emerging Writers' Festival, Craft Victoria, SYN Media, Melbourne Fringe, Regional Arts Victoria and NAVA. Her consultancy Test Pattern focuses on creative practice, policy and precincts, as well as advocacy and public value. A hallmark of Esther’s arts leadership career has been her tenacious civic engagement, ensuring that artists’ voices and arts issues feature prominently on political agendas. This work has ranged from strategic development and private advice to public events, regional marginal seat forums, candidates’ debates, specialist workshops and Australia’s first advocacy training program for the arts. A prolific writer, Esther’s work regularly appears in literary journals, newspapers, and arts and design media, and she is a regular Arts Hub columnist. Her book Place, Practice, Politics is published by Spurbuch. Follow Esther on Twitter: @_esther.