The delegates from G20 members, guest nations, and several international organisations arrived in Bhubaneswar, Odisha yesterday for the Second G20 Culture Working Group (CWG) Meeting. The meeting aims to build on the discussions from the 1st CWG meeting held in February at Khajuraho and the expert-driven Global Thematic Webinars focusing on the four priority areas of the CWG: Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property; Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future; Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy; and Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and Promotion of Culture.
Meeting the press yesterday in Bhubaneswar, the Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER, Shri G. Kishan Reddy highlighted the unique theme of India’s G20 Presidency “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” and LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment. Shri G.Kishan Reddy remarked that it emphasises upon the concept of the world as one family and aims for environmental sustainability and responsible choices, both at the level of individual lifestyles and national development.
Talking about the agenda of the Meeting, the Minister explained there will be sessions on the four priority areas of the Culture Working Group – Protection and Restitution of Cultural Property, Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future Promotion of Cultural and Creative Industries and Creative Economy and Leveraging Digital Technologies for the Protection and Promotion of Culture.
Union Minister also said “There will be discussions around collaborative initiatives, such as cultural exchange programs, joint heritage conservation projects, and cross-cultural dialogues that can strengthen our connections and build more resilient and interconnected communities.”
Addressing the Press Conference Minister of State for Culture Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal said that after Shri Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister, the restitution of Cultural property has been fast-forwarded.
He said the discussion on a ‘Sustainable Future’ will focus on what our next generation inherits. He also said that the Cultural sites should be linked with economic activities and tourism should be developed on such sites to promote employment opportunities for the locals. He also highlighted that technology will be promoted at the sites.
Smt Lily Pandeya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Co-Chair, G20 CWG talked about the collaborative power that the G20 members, the guest nations and the international organisations hold to harness the power of culture to unite our nations and foster a sense of global solidarity.
An exquisite sand art exhibit by Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik was organized at the Puri beach. Created to celebrate the theme of ‘Culture Unites All’, the sand art installation was inaugurated by the Minister for Culture, Tourism and DoNER, Shri G. Kishan Reddy and Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs.
Credited as a pioneer of sand art in India, Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik is the recipient of the third highest civilian honour the Padma Shri, for his distinguished service. His sand art installations are world-renowned and has represented India in various competitions at a global level. Sand Art is a unique public art form that has wide cultural significance throughout the world, especially in places with an abundance of deserts, beaches, and riverbeds. In many parts of the world, Sand Art is a popular medium for storytelling, used to convey mythological and religious narratives.
India’s G20 Culture Working Group launched the ‘Culture Unites All’ campaign emphasizing the importance of peaceful coexistence among diverse cultures and communities. The theme ‘Culture Unites All’ acknowledges that while cultural traditions and practices may differ significantly, they frequently share common values and beliefs. Culture can overcome boundaries, promote connections, and stimulate authentic conversations and comprehension among people, societies, and nations in all its forms.
The delegates were also treated to a variety of cultural performances, including Sankha Badan, Tribal dance (Singari), Odissi dance, Gotipua and Sambalpuri dance. These performances highlight the rich cultural heritage of Odisha and underscore the importance of preserving traditional art forms.
The 2nd CWG meeting’s discussion sessions begin tomorrow. The meeting brings together delegates from the G20 members, guest nations, and international organizations, to deliver their respective statements on the 4 priority areas outlined by the CWG. Through in-depth discussions and collaboration, the group aims to generate actionable recommendations for addressing critical cultural issues on a global scale.
An exhibition titled ‘Sustain: The Craft Idiom’- ‘Harnessing Living Heritage for a Sustainable Future’ will be inaugurated tomorrow at Kala Bhoomi – Odisha Crafts Museum in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik.
The exhibition aims to create awareness amongst visitors, professionals, and policymakers about the harmonious coexistence between humankind and nature.
The exhibition will be open to the public from the 16th to the 22nd of May 2023. Apart from this, the delegates will have Master Class by craft practitioners, engage in traditional art, and have a guided museum tour.
Along with the sessions and bilateral meetings of the 2nd Culture Working Group meeting, the G20 delegates will also visit historic heritage monuments of Odisha such as the Sun Temple at Konark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Udayagiri caves in Bhubaneshwar.
The delegates will also be treated to exciting cultural performances which represent the diverse and colourful heritage of the state of Odisha.
Following the discussions over the next 2 days in Bhubaneshwar, the 3rd CWG meeting will be held in Hampi from 15-18 July 2023 and the Culture Ministers’ Meeting is scheduled to take place in Varanasi from the end of August 2023.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by pib.