MIDEM ministerial success for SA
The South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Lulu Xingwana, and the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand, agreed to sign a Programme of Cultural Co-operation for 2010 to 2012 as well as a new film co-production agreement at their bilateral discussions held on Sunday, 24 January 2010, in Cannes, France.
The meeting took place during the annual three-day international music market, MIDEM, where South Africa participated as country of honour, with special recognition given to South African music and artists.
During the 45 minutes of wide-ranging consultations, the two Ministers reviewed the current state of bilateral cultural cooperation, the rich, shared cultural history between the two countries, and identified several new areas of cooperation.
The three-year programme will focus on joint projects in the fields of music, protection of heritage, design, publishing, digitization of culture and the French translation of books and texts to make them more accessible. The emphasis will be on sharing ideas, information and experiences, skills and technology transfer, capacity building and creating sustainable institution-to-institution links.
The Ministers exchanged views on how to increase protection for the rights of artists. They considered the fast-growing and increasingly free electronic distribution of music, books and other forms of artistic expression, and the challenge this presents to the rights and income of artists and cultural practitioners. They agreed to discuss this with other international partners and to look for creative ways to address issues of access and protection on a fair basis.
Film industry ties
The film co-production agreement will provide opportunities for the South African film industry to increase production, creating new partnerships and ventures, while recognizing the skills and talent of the SA filmmakers, actors and film technicians.
World cup invite
Minister Xingwana invited the French Minister and French public to visit South Africa during the coming 2010 FIFA World Cup, especially when South Africa plays against France.
In a separate ceremony, attended by Minister Xingwana, the French Minister, on behalf of the French government and people, honoured prominent South African artists, Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu for their contribution to the global music industry.
The Minister referred to the significant impact of the musical contribution of these two South African artists, as well as the role they played in the cultural boycott and the role they continue to play in bringing South African musical influences to world.
Referring to South Africa’ high level presence in the MIDEM music market, Minister Xingwana said that South Africa’s participation created opportunities for SA artists to showcase their talent, to mingle with their peers and to do music business deals, creating jobs and access to markets for South African artists