Age: 48 Joined: 04 May 2006 Posts: 25668 Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:22 am
Jean Michel Jarre: 'Kafkaesque' EU ignores world culture - 25 September 2013
The "administrative monster" of the EU is blocking one of the keys to sustainable development, culture, by diminishing its importance in development aid, renowned musician and composer Jean Michel Jarre told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.
In a wide-ranging interview (which can be found here) Jarre spoke at length about the symbiosis between his art and the protection of world heritage under Unesco, of which he is a goodwill ambassador.
arre said that he was attracted to Unesco, the cultural arm of the United Nations, because it was the only international organisation capable of communicating mankind's problems of over the next 25-30 years.
He gave as an example his interest in the destruction of the environment in the 1970s, represented by the cover of his 1976 album Oxygène, which shows the Earth peeling away to reveal a human skull.
“We see that today everyone is conscious of the environment and is aware that better care should be taken of the planet for future generations. Even if everything is not perfect, we have succeeded. And I think the same is needed concerning education,” he said.
Jarre paid tribute to Unesco Director General Irina Bokova who he said led the organisation by “making politics in the ancient Greek sense of this word”. He called her “one of the greatest intellectual leaders of the world” and praised the action of Unesco in fields such as education, gender equality, children rights, environment, water and culture.
To Jarre, culture and the future of the planet are intimately entwined. “I think that culture is today more than ever key to sustainable development."
But the musician criticised the European Union for its “Kafkaesque” administrative complexity, and regretted that culture was relegated to “second rank” in EU development aid.
"Brussels suffers the nightmare of all the administrations of each of the country which adds itself to this city like a mille-feuille," he said. "It is clear that everyone is full of good intentions, but they gave birth to a monster, with the administrative system in Brussels. They wanted to control what must remain specific by definition."
However, Jarre paid tribute to his own country, France, for having spearheaded the “cultural exception” in international trade talks (see background). This was not just a French concern, he said, but an international one, as it created the idea that culture everywhere should be “considered in an exceptional manner”.
“One has to understand once and for all that culture is one of the foundations of democracy, one of the pillars of freedom, of one's identity. And in defending our culture, we defend the culture of others. And when France says "attention, the cultural exception exists," it doesn’t mean that the French cultural exception should be given special treatment,” he said.
'Europe has a role to play'
Jarre also said that the European Union had a role to play in promoting culture worldwide, because the old continent “ was and still is ahead in those questions”.
“In how to respect culture and in how culture is one of the pillars of our societies, it is Europe that has always been at the forefront of this process, and that has to continue, with the Chinese, with Asia, with the United States, and also to have this discussion between the North and South," he said.
Jarre gave thanks for the support he had received as a young musician in Eastern Europe, well before the fall of the Berlin wall, where his music was seen as a symbol of freedom.
“This gave from the very beginning an additional meaning to my work of artist and musician. From the very beginning, I developed personal relations with a number of countries, with Bulgaria, which was one of the first countries from where I received letters of encouragement. Paradoxically, as many as from my own country. This is something that deeply impacted on me, which became part of my DNA,” he said.
Jarre, a pioneer of electronic music known for enormous outdoor concerts, has for many years promoted the world's cultural heritage by performing at locations such as the pyramids in Egypt or the Morrocan Sahara.
The Frenchman was the first Western musician invited to perform in China, gained considerable Eastern Europe extensively and has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest concert three times (in 1979, 1990 and 1997). He is also the author of a fundraising initiative to combat illiteracy.
Age: 48 Joined: 04 May 2006 Posts: 25668 Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:14 am
French version translated:
Culture today is more than ever a key to sustainable development, says Jean-Michel Jarre, who is goodwill ambassador of UNESCO. The musician regrets that "the administrative monster" of Europe culture relegates to the background. He paid tribute to France to promote "cultural exception" on a universal scale.
Hello Jean-Michel Jarre. Needs no introduction to you. Two words for me, I just Eastern Europe and many of my contemporaries the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jean Michel Jarre has changed our lives. You accelerated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Are you aware?
I was conscious afterwards. Because when we do things we do not realize that by definition of the impact they may have. It is true that, from the beginning of my work, I've had letters that came from Eastern Europe, the countries of the East who experienced the Soviet dictatorship, letters that have affected me much and encouraged. That is to say that my music was perceived from the outset as a symbol of escape, freedom, banned in countries on the other side of the wall, especially in Russia, Soviet Union. This gave extra meaning to my work as designer and musician. And from the outset, I have developed personal relationships with a number of countries, with Bulgaria, which was one of the first countries where people have sent me letters of encouragement. Paradoxically, as well as in my own country. This is something that has obviously touched me, part of my DNA somehow.
You even move further east, I think of China, you have done concerts in developing countries, I think the concert at the Pyramids of Egypt, what attracts you to these places , is to showcase the cultural heritage of humanity?
Several things. The music I make, electronic music, when I started, was not as popular today. And the issue was quickly asked: how to stage, how to play, how to interpret it? I've always been quite involved in the ecology and importance of the environment, and it seemed interesting to link the music to the spaces and places. And also to the time of night, like the travelers, set up his tent and disappear the next. For me it has always been this traveling and poetic side of travel with its mystery, as with his hand strength. This is not a paradox: the ephemeral is what remains most in your heart.
It is also the kind of things I wanted to share with the public: be in tune with their environment, coming toward them. This is what also brought me closer to UNESCO and the importance that UNESCO had, has and will in fact clearly identify a number of places in the world that are part of our memory collective, global, our identity as earthlings, beyond borders, it must not only maintain, but to live. And me as a creator, what interested me not to consider these places as dead stones or have a museum approach places on which a cheese is put, because all these places been built at the time that society benefits in one way or another:, religious or civil societal, whatever. And so suddenly, it's something that I wanted to celebrate. And then the music, not the song, is by definition a language that is universal. And so I found myself with invitations, this was not necessarily the projects I had in mind, from cities and countries that offer me to concerts in a few special places, which of course are always human adventures. They are artistic adventures, but they are also human adventures, whether in China, Egypt, Africa, America, Russia, the Eastern too, where I have very strong links with Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary - these are countries that rely heavily for me.
It's been 20 years that you are a goodwill ambassador of UNESCO. This is apparently a work that has brought you a lot?
I am always suspicious of artists who jump on causes, and often it is something ambiguous, because I do not think it is the role of artists to transform their political platform scene. I think these are two different professions. However, I think that from the moment you have a contact to the public, we have a responsibility, and there is a number of things that can transmit through his creation.
What I was immediately attracted to UNESCO when the Director General Federico Mayor then asked me to be UN ambassador for UNESCO, is that this is the only organization which is non-political and able to think about the problems that will arise in 25-30 years, that is to say, to think about the medium term and long term. And this in a world where it is reflected in the very short term.
This is true for policies that are caught in the elections for the bosses of big companies that are in the budget deadlines, while UNESCO has the power to consider the problems of humanity objectively. This is something that I liked and I decided to devote myself, to devote part of my time, and just to support the values of UNESCO, the UNESCO campaigns in my daily life. That is to say that whenever I have the opportunity to talk, to promote the ideas of UNESCO, to raise awareness as UNESCO has a somewhat abstract image for street people.
As I was early involved in environmental issues, one of my first album called Oxygen  and it was not much at the time to get involved, to become interested in the environment. We see that today we got that everyone is aware of the environment and the fact that it is better to pay attention to the planet for future generations. Even if everything is not perfect, we did it.
And I think it's the same thing with regard to education. Today, education is a priority as the ecology has been there thirty years. I would say that three important things for the future, to paraphrase Irina Bokova, our CEO, is education, education and education.
But the world is he better now? Will it still has a skull out of the earth's crust, as on the cover of Oxygen your disc?
It is latent. What I like in this painting by Michel Granger, this is an image that is not necessarily pessimistic. It is rather a question: where do we do? This is the problem that is exacerbated by one of the taboos of our society, which is the demographic problem. It is through education that we come to understand natural disasters, to reduce religious extremism, and to better control the population, which is something we do not talk enough in my opinion.
All these issues are causes dear to UNESCO, which have priority, I would say even more, which are essential, and that is why I am extremely pleased that today the CEO at the head of the UNESCO is a woman. And such a woman Irina Bokova that I, for lots of reasons embodies what must be one of the great intellectual leaders of this world. That is to say, of doing politics in the Greek sense of the term, thinking about the future of the company, the future of our children and future generations. And also because it is Bulgarian. This is something that is interesting for me too. Why? Because all the countries of the East have known almost a century of pain, suffering century. But we know that what does not kill you makes you stronger. And I am always struck by the wisdom of Eastern Europe, beyond Bulgaria, all countries of the East. The Eastern rightly I might almost say a mediator role in the intellectual, precisely because of what happened in the twentieth century, to be some kind of connection, almost on the level of affect, between East and West, and between the North and the South.
And I think that it is a woman, the only woman who is at the head of UN organizations, is something essential. And I think Irina Bokova is totally in tune with the way we will have deal with the problem of education, the issue of equality and the treatment of women, children, of course, the problem of ecology, water problem, culture too.
And that brings us to the role of the European Union in relation to culture. I think the culture today is more than ever a key to sustainable development. And, beyond culture, the concept of intellectual property. That is to say, the famous concept of the cultural exception is extremely discussed in Europe today, and that Mr. Barroso took position [in the negotiations for the Transatlantic Partnership on Trade and investment].
We see that this is a very shaken by the whole evolution of the Internet connection, etc.. Do not forget one thing is that intellectual property is one of the foundations of democracy and the rights of creators to make a living from their work is something that concerns everyone. In every family there are children, brothers and sisters who want to be filmmakers, musicians, photographers, artisans, architects, etc.. Their creation is the identity of the future. It's been like that since humans are on this planet. So this is not just a problem of copyright, it is not a financial problem - who will win money. This is much broader than that. It is also the survival of some developing countries. That is to say people who are plundering the wealth today in the world of advertising, fashion, often without knowing it, without recompense to the communities in need.
And I think Europe has a role to play, because it was and still is ahead of those questions. How to respect the culture and how that culture is one of the pillars of our societies, it is Europe that has always been at the forefront of this process, and it has to continue. With the Chinese, with Asia, with the United States, and also have this discussion between North and South. And UNESCO, of course, is at the center of these discussions.
And when we talk so much parity, it is time also to apply to the head of various organizations. That is why the presence of Irina Bokova at the head of UNESCO is so essential today.
The European Union is not it too compartmentalized in its division of labor, because the Development Commissioner is not responsible for the cultural dimension?
I am deeply European, but Europe is not Brussels. I would say by this that Brussels suffers nightmares utility of each country in addition to the city as a mille-feuille. We suffer, each too much administrative complexity. And Brussels is the administrative complexities countries added together. So it's totally Kafkaesque. With people of good will who do not understand them, which paralyze each other, and that European decisions are a muddle of vacillations and often footholds in the carpet. Nevertheless Europe advance, but it does not advance at all to the speed at which it should move forward. And it is clear that everyone is full of good intentions, but it gave birth to a monster, with the administrative system in Brussels. We wanted to control what must remain specific by definition. This shows the extreme in European countries so caricatured because it is obvious that it is not the solution.
Obviously that culture is at the center of it all. Culture, by definition, is the specificity of each. It's yours, it's mine, it's one of our children is that of our parents. And we can not apply the same principles and approach culture as we approach the agriculture, industry or any other sector of society. And, hence, culture is secondary. Because it is not in the DNA of political culture to the foreground. This has never been. It has often been in growing companies, so it is a bad sign for us. The more we bring culture into the background, the more we will decline.
While paying tribute to my country, France, which so clumsy sometimes, which is not the case right now, but has been in our history, I must say, it has highlighted the culture so flamboyant and so visible. There are many things that might work better in France, but I support our position vis-à-vis culture, that is to say, to make culture an exception, not a French cultural exception, but be in the company culture is unique and should be considered in exceptional circumstances. You must understand once and for all that the culture is one of the foundations of democracy, one of the pillars of freedom, one's identity. And in defending our culture, we defend the culture of others. And when France says "attention, cultural exception exists," it is not the French cultural exception which must be considered separately. Distribute books, movies and music, it's not like yogurt distribute or endive. Although the problem of endives and yoghurt also a problem even in Brussels.
Where is the music? Besides, I'm not sure if the vinyl does not have a better sound quality than MP3 or CD. You who invented musical instruments ought to know?
Indeed there is a paradox that is born at the advent of the CD, which is that the vinyl had flaws, but was a very good quality. We were introduced to the CD as the Holy Grail of the product and sound reproduction that would be ideal, but we realized that this was not the case, it was rather the 78 digital, and c 'was worse than vinyl. Then came the MP3, which was worse than the CD. So there has been a regression in each other's way, which eventually changed the ear, good or bad does not matter, but it has changed. And at the same time from a technological point of view, recording studios, for movies it's the same thing, have evolved. There is a lag between increasingly important quality a player can have in a studio and how his music will be heard.
But it will be balanced. The music of the future will necessarily go through a great upheaval in the way of listening. Today we are in the digital age, as at the time of the last century, when listening to a gramophone. With MP3, we are in a situation of digital Gramophone. The 21st century, I hope and I believe, will allow to explore more subtle and relevant ways to appreciate the sound and the picture in general.
As to the music itself?
And instruments as extraordinary as the laser harp?
Course. I think the violin will change considerably. We already see with what is happening with tablets, we can do now in the Thalys, when we go from Paris to Brussels. This new violin-related digital access will facilitate the creation for everyone. I think the democratization of tools will also enable the democratization of creation.
What makes you want? Making music in space?
There are a few years Arthur Clark, the author of 2001 - A Space Odyssey, with which I was very friend, told me, "thou there need you to do a concert on the moon one day" . I replied: "Arthur, this is not serious, on the moon there is no atmosphere, the sound can not be broadcast. "He said:" No, but you find a way, I know it will happen one day. "
So I do not know, but there are so many places and places on earth, also related to UNESCO among other things, there is much to create, and to succeed on this planet before venturing into other ... But you never know ...
_________________ Jarregirl YouTube
Théâtre Marigny, Paris - 2007
Symphony Hall, Birmingham - 2008
RAH, London - 2008
Wembley Arena, London - 2009
NIA, Birmingham - 2009
POP Bercy, Paris - 2010
NIA, Birmingham - 2010
O2 Arena, London - 2010
Zénith Aréna, Lille - 2010
Port Hercule, Monaco - 2011
TUI Arena, Hannover - 2011
Festival International de Carthage - 2013
Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham - 2016
Age: 48 Joined: 04 May 2006 Posts: 25668 Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:00 pm
Jean-Michel Jarre - UNESCO Annual Meeting - 30 June 2014 - 1 July 2014
Culture is our future: we must protect it!
Appeal of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors
Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, whilst gathered in Paris on 30 June and 1 July 2014 on the occasion of their annual meeting, have launched an appeal to protect culture considered as a driver of development and as a source of dialogue.
Concerned by the growing number of deliberate attacks against cultural heritage, and facing the instrumentalization of culture, oftentimes taken hostage and used as a pretext for division and conflict;
Noting recently inflicted irreparable damage to cultural heritage in Syria, Iraq, Mali, and in other places, as well as actions aiming to prevent the transmission and perpetuation by the communities of the intangible cultural heritage;
Convinced that damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever constitutes damage to the cultural heritage of humanity, since each people makes its contribution to world culture, as mentioned in the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, of which we celebrate the 60th anniversary this year;
Recalling that cultural heritage in all its forms is a fundamental component of the cultural identity of communities, groups and individuals;
Considering that culture as such plays a fundamental role in the development of all societies, both from an economic point of view, because culture is a source of employment, income and a way to fight against poverty but also from a social point of view, because culture is a vector of cohesion, dignity and confidence in the future;
Welcoming the efforts of UNESCO to safeguard and rehabilitate destroyed and threatened cultural heritage worldwide, as well as initiatives of the Director-General to mobilize the world public opinion and policy makers around the culture;
Encouraging the Organization to continue its efforts to ensure that the importance of culture in policies of development and peace be better known, especially in the context of the elaboration of the United Nations post-2015 development agenda;
Adopt and proclaim this Appeal:
Culture is the essence of humanity, it carries the values and identities of peoples;
We refuse that it is ignored or neglected, as is still too often the case in public policies for development in times of peace and during emergency actions in times of conflicts, where it is considered sometimes as a luxury;
Faced with the violence of current conflicts, we refuse the false rhetoric according to which in an emergency one must choose between the protection of human life and the protection of heritage, because the two are inseparable and protection of heritage in the same way as the protection of schools and hospitals, is a part of the categorical imperatives of international solidarity;
We affirm that the current forms of conflict show that culture is at the heart of reconciliation, dialogue and rapprochement. The protection of culture, and therefore the protection of people’s identity, is at the heart of any sustainable effort to build peace;
We affirm a fundamental link between culture, protection of cultural heritage in all its forms - tangible and intangible – as well as education for citizenship in a globalized world, in multicultural societies where the understanding of the diversity of cultures is more than ever an essential condition of the social cohesion; where the transmission and understanding of cultural heritage are essential elements for citizens in the 21st century;
We appeal to the Member States of UNESCO to redouble their efforts and make all necessary arrangement so culture is protected during times of peace and in times of conflict, and to see in it a privileged mean to understand the current issues of sustainable development, dialogue among cultures and religions as well as peace-building;
We appeal that the Post-2015 international development agenda clearly incorporates the role of culture and of cultural diversity as accelerators and facilitators of sustainable development, fully recognizing culture as our common source of creativity, innovation and renewal, whereby humanity is constantly reinventing, develop and build a better future.
Age: 48 Joined: 04 May 2006 Posts: 25668 Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:34 am
Jean Michel Jarre and Chico Bouchikhi - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chico_Bouchikhi - The Annual Meeting of Goodwill Ambassadors of UNESCO held in Paris this year (2014) with the participation of prominent personalities from around the world, including the dynamic Greek Ambassador Marianna B Vardinogiannis. The Australian Ambassador to Greece Jenny Bloomfield became donor bone marrow, supporting the "Vision of Hope", and so did the National Olympic Academy of Greece visited the Pediatric Oncology Unit.
Age: 48 Joined: 04 May 2006 Posts: 25668 Location: United Kingdom
Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:12 pm
Annual Meeting of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors 2015, Paris - 15 June 2015
This year’s Annual Meeting of UNESCO Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors, convened by the Director-General, Irina Bokova, took place at UNESCO Headquarters on 15 June, and brought together outstanding personalities from the worlds of art, film, music, literature, charity and public affairs.
The Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors such as Her Royal Highness Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, Her Royal Highness Princess Firyal of Jordan, Mrs. Ivonne A-Baki, Mr. Metin Arditi, Mr. Pierre Bergé, Mrs. Claudia Cardinale, Ms. Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, Mrs. Bahia Hariri, Mr. Alain Husson-Dumoutier, Mr. Jean Michel Jarre, Mr. Cyprien Katsaris, Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, Mr. Jean Malaurie, Mr. Serguei Markarov, Mrs. Mariana Nicolesco, Mr. Eijin Nimura, Mr. Ali Mahdi Nouri, Mr. Jordi Savall, Mr. Zurab Tsereteli, Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis, and many others joined this important gathering.
In this very special year celebrating the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, the main topics of discussion were focused on actions such as the World Education Forum 2015, UNESCO’s thought on the issues related to youth and Internet, the "UNITE4HERITAGE" campaign, as well as UNESCO’s participation at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11) to be held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.
The Goodwill Ambassadors also presented their work over the past year and discussed their experiences. Another highlight of this year’s meeting was the performance by the troupe “Al Buggaa”, directed by Mr. Ali Mahdi Nouri, UNESCO Artist for Peace.
The UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of celebrity advocates who have generously accepted to use their talent and status to help focus the world's attention on the Organization’s mission. They extend and amplify UNESCO's work in its fields of education, culture, science, communication and information.
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