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Huge Universal Forum of Cultures in Barcelona Working to Change the World

The Universal Forum of Cultures is the first edition of a new large-scale international event that will bring people from all over the world together in Barcelona.

The Forum is intended to promote study, reflection and innovative research through a process of dialogue involving all of the agents and all of the cultures that make up the contemporary world. The purpose of the event is to contribute to the articulation of a culture based on peace, diversity and sustainability - a culture that will make it possible for globalization to proceed in a manner that reflects a set of shared ethical values.

What is the Forum?

Over the course of 141 days, May 9th - Sept 26th, the Forum will provide a multicultural setting that will facilitate a process of renewal of attitudes and beliefs. We expect 5 million people to participate in person, and 500 million to participate in the virtual forum.

Forum 2004 will be a space where the citizens of the world can gather, engage in dialogue, and debate the most urgent issues of the 21st century.

It is a new and creative space for reflection and experimentation in relation to the main cultural and social conflicts that humanity is faced with at the outset of the 21st century. Three main themes define the Forum: Cultural diversity, sustainable development and conditions for peace.

Where is it Held?

The main events associated with Forum will take place by the sea in newly constructed facilities.

30 hectares are filled with ideas, distributed throughout parks, streets, auditoriums... This huge area provides opportunities to watch and listen, create, experiment, taste, discover and get excited.

Sample Exibit:

The exhibition Inhabiting the World will show the public how human beings have settled the planet, how they relate to it and the causes of the socio-environmental problems faced by humanity. With a budget of 3,990,000 euros and 4,747 square meters of surface area, the exhibit will suggest solutions and new dynamics in sustainability to change people’s attitudes.

Inhabiting the World will show the visitor the world on three different yet interrelated levels or scales: the planet, the city and the individual. Through these spaces, it will offer the 1.5 million expected visitors ideas on the new model of sustainability for the 21st Century, based on the ideas of equity and durability. On each of these levels, it will grapple with problems and provide possible solutions, keeping in mind the contradiction between the unlimited growth of some territories and the increased inequality of poorer areas.

The curator of the exhibition, Ramon Folch, states that the aim of the exhibition is to transmit sensations in order to achieve attitude changes among the public. He affirmed that the exhibition is a tool through which to make people understand a new model of sustainability, and he added that it was not an exhibition on the environment, insisting that this exhibit focuses on socio-economic aspects.

The curator explained that the exhibition is divided into five thematic sections dealing with the socio-economic reality of the world, the exhaustion of fossil energy resources and human migratory movements as a factor brought about by specific socio-economic situations.

Folch also indicated that the three levels on which this exhibition is based (planet, city, individual) will present the world from a global-scale vision of diversity, but will also reach all the way to the personal situations of individuals and their attitudes. Folch considers that the point is not to exhibit the reality of the planet from a sensationalist point of view, but to show the simple reality in question.

Inhabiting the World is being developed in four languages and approaches sustainability from the angle of reusing materials and containers and not just recycling them. In the exhibition space, there will be video projections, 13 drawings by El Roto and an interactive area for the visitors’ use.

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