Algeria/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation  

8.2.2 Policies and programmes

The Ministry of Culture has been attempting over the past few years to formulate policies and programs to expand the basis of cultural practice. Such efforts include measures taken to consolidate contribution in cultural life.

Efforts are being made to preserve Algeria's cultural identity and collective memory by collecting all documents and tools related to the national cultural heritage, and by integrating the culture into major urbanization and public projects. In particular, there has been focus on encouraging production in the fields of drama, singing, music, plastic arts and audio and visual arts, promoting performance-based professions and creating the appropriate conditions to enable citizens to benefit from culture and arts.

In addition, efforts are being made to set up the necessary framework for the prosperity of literary and artistic creativity. The state is attempting to encourage all initiatives that attempt to stimulate and publish literary works, protect intellectual property rights, prepare cultural facilities, sponsor art and literature, grant rewards for distinguished accomplishments, promote traditional cultural expressions, promote research in the field of heritage and popularize national culture abroad.

Measures have been taken to lay out a cooperation mechanism between schools and cultural institutions. The secondary and higher education guide law indicates that local administrations and groups can make monetary contributions to schools to promote culture, as can associations of scientific, cultural and sporting nature in extracurricular activities. These contributions can come in addition to work being done by the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Culture to expand the teaching of arts in schools, develop the participation of schools and cultural structures, and allow concerned professional organizations to take part in the pedagogical process.

A similar form of cooperation exists between local associations and culture houses. The local cultural associations have a strong presence in the regional programs of the directorates and cultural houses. But, this presence does not indicate broad participation of local communities in formulating the policies and programs that have heretofore been the duty of official authorities. This may explain the series of meetings and dialogues underway among the different cultural organizations and unions, all parties active in this field, and the official authority in charge of cultural affairs in order to spur further cultural work.

These efforts are still uncoordinated and lack continuity, creating a situation wherein the Algerian cultural scene is dominated by single events and long-term planning is all but absent.

Chapter published: 03-05-2013