Home Art & Culture Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2024 Unites Global Leaders

Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2024 Unites Global Leaders

The sixth edition of the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, held under the resonating theme ‘A Matter of Time’, concluded on 5th March, 2024, leaving a resounding call for urgent action and cultural transformation across societies worldwide. The summit, which brought together over 200 speakers and 1,150 participants from 90 countries, served as a crucial platform for ministers, cultural leaders, artists, and musicians to deliberate on the pivotal role of culture in driving positive change. Under the esteemed patronage of His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, the event fostered meaningful discussions on the tangible impact of culture as a transformative tool for societies and communities globally. In his closing remarks, Al Mubarak emphasized the imperative nature of the moment, stating, “Change can happen at any time; the time to act is now.” He pledged to perpetuate the summit as a beacon of intellectual discourse and dialogue, fostering collaboration between East and West.

Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director of The Design Museum, London, underscored the significance of political leaders engaging with cultural landscapes, emphasizing the potential for building bridges. Marlow lauded the presence of Club Madrid, the world’s largest forum of democratic former presidents and prime ministers, which opened the summit. Throughout the summit, the theme of time was explored through dynamic performances and thought-provoking discussions. Wayne McGregor’s immersive performance, “UniVerse: A Dark Crystal Odyssey,” captivated audiences, prompting reflections on the body’s role as an archive of experiences. Grammy award-winning singer Babyface and Recording Academy® CEO Harvey Mason Jr. delved into the transformative power of music, emphasizing its ability to transcend temporal boundaries.

However, pressing contemporary issues such as technology and climate change remained at the forefront of conversations. Ernesto Ottone Ramírez, Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, urged urgent regulation of culture in the face of advancing technology, emphasizing humanity’s inherent right to create. Discussions on climate change as a catalyst for new cultural dialogues underscored the urgent need for interdisciplinary collaboration to address environmental challenges.

Notable keynote speakers, including poet Adonis and Prof. Homi Bhabha, provided philosophical insights into the theme of time, highlighting its subjective nature and the interplay between memory and perception. Richard Armstrong, Director Emeritus of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, urged museum leaders to embrace the temporal dimension of art, fostering deeper understanding and connection across generations. Reflecting on the summit’s outcomes, Justine Simons, OBE, London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, emphasized the mainstreaming of culture as a positive development. Looking ahead to the next MONDIACULT forum in Barcelona in 2025, stakeholders declared the urgency of cultural policy aspirations, recognizing culture’s pivotal role in shaping our collective future.

In summary, the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2024 served as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and collaboration, reaffirming the transformative power of culture in addressing contemporary global challenges. As reiterated by H.E. Alpidio Alonso, Minister of Culture for the Republic of Cuba, “Without culture, we lose our future.”