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Introduction

Beatriz Barreiro Carril and Gemma Carbó Ribugent

We are glad to present this book, which has is origin in the project “A Tunisian-Spanish Bridge for Counteracting Violent Extremism and Xenophobia through the Right to take part in Cultural Life financed by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF).

The idea behind this book, in line with the project, is to contribute to fight misconceptions concerning cultural identities. Social reactions responding to economic crisis very often identify “the other” as the source of current problems. Growing populism uses simplistic arguments allocating an artificial, homogenous and static identity to “the other”. The only sustainable path to constructing inclusive societies is through the acknowledgement of “the other” in all his/her human dignity, including his/her cultural identity.”  A more specific objective of this book is to contribute to the developing a conceptual reflection on cultural rights and linked topics. We want also to offer new ways for designing intercultural artistic education tools enabling interactions between young people and children of diverse cultures. The creation of the Cultural-Artistic Group Kasserine-Madrid, some of which results are included in this book, is an exemple of these efforts.

The book is divided in three parts. The first one includes some of the contributions presented by experts in the field of Social Sciences and Law during two seminars organised with the support both of the ECF and of the Rey Juan Carlos University. The second part gathers personal and artistic experiences presented or developed within this project. Finally, the third part includes the “Charter of Cultural Rights of Children” created and developed during this project as well. We really hope it can be an interesting tool for educators. Culture and Education policies need in fact to be adressed together. The link between the righ to take part in culural life and the right to education is clear. Both deal with essential aspects of the human being. It is interesting to note that the right to take part in cultural life is the only one in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights referring  to the word “life” while the right to education, as Professor Jesús Prieto notes, refers to de development of “personality”[1]. Life and Personality are notions which cannot be separated from that of (cultural) identity. 

We are very grateful to the authors of the chapters of this book for their interesting contributions and to Costanza Piccione for her inestimable work coordinating these texts. Thanks as well to ECF and to Rey Juan Carlos University for making this book possible.


  1. Prieto de Pedro, J. Memorias del seminario, convenio Andrés Vello. Economía y Cultura, la otra cara de la moneda. p. 219


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