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Melody for Dialogue Among Civilizations Association

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This initiative draws on music and musical performance as a catalyst for cultural dialogue and communication. It is based on the premise that music has the potential to serve as a bridge between peoples and to foster conversation and connection among civilizations, cultures, and communities.

Communication Strategies: 

Melody for Dialogue hosts various in-person events and symposia designed to bring people together to discuss the power of music as a communication for development tool. Forums of importance that have been held: an international forum, "Peaceful use of Outer-space" (April 21 2011 at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO); Music and Cultural Diplomacy (with North Eastern University in Boston and Aspen Institute-2009), Music and cultural diversity (with UNESCO, 2007); Music and Peace-building (with selected member states of the European Union (EU) - UNESCO, 2008); and a 2010 collaboration with the American University in Paris (Arts Arena), UNESCO, and Musee d'Orsay. As part of the latter event, in the context of the International Year of Cultural Rapprochement, forums focused on activist arts and culture, sustainable development and music, and music as a catalyst for cultural communications and dialogue. The Association has also organised multicultural concerts with participation of 485 artists worldwide in various regions, including Nigeria and Morocco (Africa), Cuba and the United States (the Caribbean and North America), and France and Switzerland (Western Europe). In Nov 2010, Melody for Dialogue organised a multicultural concert with the theme of "music and sport for cultural harmony" at the opening of the 16th Asian Games in China. From November 2011 to March 2012, the Association plans to hold 5 regional forums on "sustainable water" in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Most these meetings will end with a musical awareness programme.

For further examples of recent and upcoming Melody for Dialogue events and other information, please click here.

Development Issues: 

Conflict, Peace and Peacebuilding, Environment, Sustainable Development, and Science.

Key Points: 

In the words of the Association's President, "It is a well-known fact that music is one of the oldest forms of human communication. It is a human universal, who could be found in all cultures at all times. It is, in many ways, in the age of globalization, the most global aspect of the "global village". Therefore, music is often regarded as universal, a common language understood by all, regardless of culture, religion or socio-political context...The idea of using music as a means of conflict resolution gained momentum through the efforts of the late Edward Said and Maestro Barenboim who together established the East-West Divan Orchestra. They brought together young Middle Eastern musicians, including Israeli, Palestinians and Syrians, with aim of using music as a means of encouraging understanding and cooperation in the Middle East. French initiative in 2002 for a concert among Israelis and Arabs and the American initiative 'Healing the Divide' in 2003, are among a few examples underlining the possibility of coexistence between individuals from different countries and communities long in opposition."

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Source: 

UNESCO website and Melody for Dialogue website - both accessed on June 23 2010; and emails from Mehri Madarshahi to The Communication Initiative on June 24 2010, September 30 2011, and October 11 2011.

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