Dialogue among students from around the world to explore cultural identity and heritageThe surprising outcome of a contest centred on dialogue about cultural heritage and identity between teams of school children from different countries is the subject of an exhibition that will open at UNESCO Headquarters at 1.30 p.m. on Friday, July 30 (Miro Room). It showcases the visible results of the Mondialogo School Contest launched by UNESCO and DaimlerChrysler last year.
Projects were not only selected for their artistic merit, but for the quality of the dialogue among the partner teams from different cultures. Students from a school in Cambodia and another in the U.S., for example, exchanged material and, after much discussion and overcoming a variety of obstacles, produced a large collage. The two teams chose both Cambodian and American iconography, but also magazine pictures of contemporary icons.
The core of the exhibition consists of 25 projects. Each is the fruit of dialogue between two teams (aged 15 to 18) from different countries. In all 1466 teams from 126 countries, took part in the Mondialogo School Contest and 25 projects were chosen to take part in the exhibition as finalists. One teacher and one student from the teams involved will be sent to the International Mondialogo Symposium in Barcelona (Spain), from September 17 to 20 where three winners of the contest will be named.
The intensity of the dialogue is being documented in detailed files for each project which, visitors are invited to examine. They contain the correspondence and reports written by the children themselves, movingly down to earth, oftentimes oblivious of the slogans of politicians and diplomats.
The exhibition will culminate in the announcement of the contest finalists. , During the reception to follow, journalists will be able to meet members of the international Mondialogo jury: Vigdis Finnbogadottir, former president of Iceland and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador; Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho; Lebanese signer and composer Marcel Khalife; and Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola (Japan), Honorary President of the Balthus Foundation.
Journalists wishing to cover the event should register with the Bureau of Public Information, Press Relations Section, phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 16 94
Photos © UNESCO/Andrew Wheeler: Photo No 1: 367 projects from 97 countries were received by Mondialogo. In the foreground, wooden toys on display at the Mondialogo School Contest Exhibition opened at UNESCO Headquarters on 30 July 2004. Photo No 2: Dolls in traditional dress representing cultural diversity in both Romania and Senegal. Photo No 3: MONDIALOGO, this entry, from a team in Germany and Cuba, was based on the subject of discovering cultures and initiating dialogue between young people. Photo No 4: Jury Members Vigdis Finnbogadottir and Paulo Coelho discussing the work of one of the finalists.