Transcending boundaries – Mobility and intercultural dialogue

Music transcends borders, or so we say, but what happens when musicians are stopped at the border or even before because they were denied visas for reasons that are not transparent or comprehensible. The 2005 UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion in diversity of cultural expressions clearly states that developed countries should facilitate access for cultural activities from developing countries. Several initiatives exist to overcome the gap between the UNESCO convention and the reality. This session will explore how these initiatives work and what still needs to be done to ensure that intercultural dialogue is not hindered due to obstacles to mobility. 



Anita Debaere has been working since 2002 with Pearle*, the European federation representing, through its members associations, the interests of more than 4,500 live performance and music organisations. Before joining Pearle, Anita Debaere built up a career in the classical music sector in Belgium, first with a chamber orchestra, then with the radio orchestra and choir.
Please find Anita Debaere's presentation here.


Angie Cotte has extensive experience in cultural networking at European level. She has contributed to the organisation of many European conferences on cultural policy and has coordinated arts and culture projects for a number of years.
Please find Angie Cotte's presentation here.


Christine Semba is a consultant and an expert (EU, Unesco Creative Cities…). As the managing director of the professional world music network Zone Franche, she was in charge, among others, of the Artist Visa's Committee and leaded the EU funded project "Africa Caribbean Pacific Music Festivals Network". Previously she worked for 9 years in Berlin for WOMEX- the world music expo, as the director of content and programs and was artistic director and curator of several world music events.
Please find Christine Semba's notes here.




Silja Fischer joined the General Secretariat of the International Music Council in 1993. She was appointed Secretary General of the IMC in April 2009. In this capacity, she is in charge of the day-to-day business, official representation as well as programme implementation. She also serves as Secretary to the International Rostrum of Composers.