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Artist Visa Applications: Arguments for Success
When you deal with visa issuing offices and embassies it may sometimes be useful to refer to various points set out in international conventions and recommendations.
By Ole Reitov, Freemuse
1) The UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
This is one of the most important points as the convention argues for mobility of artists.
There are two articles to which you can refer to and make authorities aware of:
Article 14 – Cooperation for development
(b) capacity-building through the exchange of information, experience and expertise, as well as the training of human resources in developing countries, in the public and private sector relating to, inter alia, strategic and management capacities, policy development and implementation, promotion and distribution of cultural expressions, small-, medium- and micro-enterprise development, the use of technology, and skills development and transfer.”
Article 16 – Preferential treatment for developing countries
The convention can be downloaded here:
WHAT IS A CONVENTION?
In this case the convention is a set of agreed, standards, norms and criteria, which the involved countries are obliged to implement into their national legislation. As the European Union has co-signed the convention there are several policy papers describing follow up procedures and recommendations, so you may also need to refer to some of these documents. I shall only mention two:
2) POLICY PAPERS AND REPORTS
This report points out:
What is the EU Visa Code?
For those of you attending the seminar session ‘Barriers of Entry, Artists and Visas: Mobility of artists and cultural professionals’ at WOMEX 2010, there’s another report worthwhile reading:
B) Final report and recommendations to the Cultural Affairs Committee on improving the conditions to support the mobility of artists and culture professionals
During the last couple of years the EU Commission in collaboration with several arts organisations, mobility experts, etc., have looked into this very complex issue. The final report from the working group has a dedicated chapter on visa issues, and it recommends to the EU Commission and the EU member states that “…the member states should promote close cooperation between culture and visa authorities at all levels especially within embassies on implementing Visa Code”
The full report can be downloaded here:
‘Visas / the discordant note’
At Freemuse we are indeed pleased to see that ‘Visas / the discordant note’ presented at WOMEX 2008 in collaboration with ELMF and ECA is still used as a reference document.
The white paper is available from here:
Freemuse would once again like to thank those of you who contributed to this report.
A large number of organisations, groups and networks are now involved in lobbying for improved visa handling, reporting violations and publishing practical tools: Zone Franche, Irma, Serious, Alba Kultur, Pearl, Practics, Visa Hotline Project, ELMF, ECA, Artsrightsjustice, Tamizdat – just to mention a few.
Read more on fizz
European Commision | Culture:
Library of policy documents
OMC working group on the mobility of culture professionals – June 2010:
‘Final report and recommendations to the Cultural Affairs Committee on improving the conditions to support the mobility of artists and culture professionals’
Freemuse – 21 January 2009:
Visa issues: Transparency and correct information is the key
|Related reading on freemuse.org|