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The South-North Network's Journal "Cultures and Development"
The Network's Journal "Cultures and Development"

- In 1998 three issues were published as usual. What was unusual about them, however, was the fact that an specially thick double issue (N°31/32) was issued to report on the 10th Anniversary Celebration held on October 1997 as a " Summing-Up Event " (see Annual Report for 1997.)

- The issue N°31/32 (March 1998) included the two remarkable key-note addresses made respectively by Dr. Durre Sameen Ahmed of Pakistan and by M. Noël Cannat of France. The issue offers also large extracts of speeches held by Prof. Riccardo Petrella (E.C. Forward Studies Cell, chairman of " Les Amis du Monde Diplomatique "), Sulak Sivaraksa (President of the Santi Pracha Institute, Bangkok) in the course of this Summing Up Event.
This issue also offers the outcome of one of Network Cultures' main effort this year, namely a global reflection on ten years of research, reflection and action by its regional bases all over the world. We consider this text as the most elaborate and yet rapidly accessible text on what we have achieved and what impact we seek to have. (See " L'Impact du Réseau en Dix Ans d'Activité ".
The 31/32 issue also presents the 1998-2000 project on " Cultures, Conflicts and Citizenship " with reference to on-going actions in various regional bases of the network. By publishing it we seek also to attract new partners in our effort to enrich and disseminate still further our messages. The many " letters to the Editor " received practically each week witness eloquently to the interest raised by our publication. We are particularly encouraged by messages coming from our readers stating how they were concretely helped by one or the other article.

- The issue N° 33 (October 1998) presents a sympathetic yet critical appraisal of Paulo Freire's celebrated conscientisation method which has become central to the projects of NGO's all over the world (in our opinion, among the best and most useful projects). A text on " World Crisis and Emerging Cultural Change in Europe " participates in Network Cultures' present effort to turn attention to problems in Europe rather than exclusively focus on problems in the South. Moroccan iconoclastic economist Hassan Zaoual writes a devastating piece on the " besoin de croire " as opposed to the deterministic approach of the homo economicus put forth by dominant economics.
Due to an increasingly frequent request addressed to us to explain the methodology of our research projects, a detailed exposure to this three-waves participatory method is offered.
This issue offers various news items on ongoing activities within our network. This includes the " Our lives, our stories " workshop held in India with the Alliance for a Responsible and United World " as well as the " Tower of Babel " project which is geared towards the recognition of the fact that universal values cannot possibly be expressed in one language only.
Network Cultures' new projects, on " Cultural Perception of Social Right and Duties " (about Cultures and Conflicts) allows us also to reach our to a broader public for this particularly sensitive project. This is also the case for the project on the role of identity in local development and grass roots democracy, and its subtheme " Roots and Wings ".
Book reviews offer glimpses on important new literature.

- The Issue N° 34 (April 1999) gave a large place to the major international conference held in Helsinki in September 1998 and organised by our partner network IGGRI (International Grass Roots Initiatives Network) with The Finnish Ministry for Overseas Development Aid (Finnida) and with KEPA. Title of this Conference was: "Expanding People's Space in the Globalising Economy". The complete Network Cultures (South North) team was present and contributed. The journal reproduced part of the conclusions of this conference, as well as major inputs by Poona Wignaraja, Suzan George, Orlando Fals Borda, Sulak Sivaraksa, Smitu Kothari.This issue also presented papers by  Congolese, Belgian and  Nepalese  NGO staff. A unpublished paper by Raimon Panikkar was included as well as Edith Sizoo's "Appeal to Women: after four decades, a new challenge", namely an invitation to women to make more explicit what women's ways of handling things differently exactly consists of, and how these could contribute to overall cultural and attitudinal change for the better of our societies.
On the Davos group and on an Alternative Davos Forum, place was given and an appeal to participate was made. Our member Serge Latouche's latest book "L'Autre Afrique" (Albin Michel) was presented, as well as our American friend David Korten's bestseller "The Post-Corporate World"(Worldview Publications).

- The Issue N° 35/36 (November 1999) is a special issue totally devoted to the presentation of the conclusions of two major Network Cultures research and sharing programmes, called "Ailes et Racines" and "Roots and Wings". Both projects are part of our overall research project on the Role of Identity on Local Development and Deep Democracy". It is a popular special issue. Hundreds of copies had to be printed in addition to the regular number of subscribers (more than 1000), and soon a book will be forthcoming on the French speaking project, complete with the contributions (the "first wave" papers) of the 25 participants. The conclusions to be read in the special issue offer concrete suggestions as to cultural change in terms of values (e.g. "the feminisation of culture") and in terms of daily behaviour (approach to power, to money, to gender, to nature, to spirituality and organised religions, etc). Special attention is given to citizenship, political engagement, political parties and ways to act, including through Ghandian  active non-violence. Attention is given to multi-culturality in the major cities of the world, and the ways to go about it to avoid violence and political manipulation of religiosity and racialism by malafide politicians. Attention is also given to personal attitudinal change as a condition for structural societal change. Examples are offered from Buddhism, atheistic or humanistic philosophies, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Candomblé, etc.

- The issue N° 37 of our journal “Cultures and Development / Cultures et Développement” (May 2000) offers two important pieces of information on South North network activities. There are a series of texts and interviews on the “Viva Rio” campaigns, launched by our base in Brazil. This highly successful campaign illustrates how a renewed spirit of urban citizenship can be developed, and how social work can be realized with maximum participation by all people concerned. The other important piece is a report on Network Cultures-Europe' s project on multicultural cities. How do they evolve? Towards de facto apartheid between autochtonous and immigrant communities? Or towards mutually enriching inter-cultural learning and conviviality?
This issue also reports on the book which Network Cultures helped to prepare and draft for the Belgian Minister for Development Cooperation, Dr Reginald Moreels. It also proudly contains a paper by Michaël D. Higgins, poet and one time Minister of Culture in Ireland.

- The  double issue N° 38/39 of “Cultures and Development / Cultures et Développement” (December 2000) contains a medley of contributions on the themes of the globalizing neoliberal creed, the notion of postmodernity (with a paper by Leonardo Boff), and the growing attention to cultural diversity. The latter is extensively treated in a  full report on the Brainstorming session organized in June 2000 on the impact of Network Cultures over the past 12 years. This impact is looked at on thought, policy and practice of NGDOs and official development agencies alike. It is obvious that culture is now gradually coming to the fore as a concern in many circles, including in  intergovernmental bodies (like the WB). Network Cultures has played its part in this positive evolution. What would be Network Cultures' future task in this context ? How can we help NGDOs and other agencies to operationalize concretely the growing interest for local cultures in development ? How can we improve our pedagogy and maximize our impact ?

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