In a world which is struggling with numerous conflicts based on cultural, racial and religious identities, the Beyond Cultural and Racial Identifies conference provides a space for sharing ideas, research and theories about possible pathways to a future beyond divisions.
At the core of the conference sits the question “Does community cohesion and integration mean the elimination of individual identities and, if not, how policies can provide both the space to be different and the underlying commitment to work within a single legal framework, with harmony”.
For the past 23 years the Townsville Cultural Fest has been working tirelessly and relentlessly towards achieving unity within cultural diversity. We have learned a lot in this experiment and the festival has come a long way from being purely a multicultural event to an enormous inclusive and unifying occasion, which showcases something for everyone to be proud of.
Such an achievement is not necessarily supported by government policies and resource allocations and after decades of working and achieving in this field - which is identified by all levels of government and agencies as being a crucial area of community engagement when moving towards cohesion - the event is starved of financial support.
This demonstrates that there is no recognition of the importance of the unifying work that the festival has undertaken for 23 years within governments and agencies. The question remains: “What is to be done other than this type of activity that can bridge the divides and enhance harmony and create community cohesion with due respect to its diversity.
Academics and community workers are invited to share their ideas on this topic and address the question of what is the future of multiculturalism without community cohesion and if governments do not commit to support community building projects such as the Townsville Cultural Fest, what else can be done and who else can do this job of undermining social cultural and religious divides within a nation.
Conference papers, lecture and workshop details can be submitted at:
Online applications for performers, musicians, vendors and volunteers can be found at: www.culturalfest.org
You are invited to submit your papers based on the above discussion or by addressing the following issues:
For more information, contact the Townsville Cultural Fest.