Action to build
Fair, Prosperous & Peaceful
Ending poverty, reducing inequalities and building peaceful and inclusive societies are crucial goals for a sustainable future. People around the world are living with conflict and its consequences. The gap between rich and poor has widened, and many millions live in poverty. Prejudice and hate condition people's everyday lives and the opportunities that they have.
Cultural heritage has an important role to play in changing these circumstances. Recognising and safeguarding diverse cultures helps to promote mutual understanding. Heritage can be used a resource for economic development that increases, rather than diminishes, the prosperity and wellbeing of those who have been marginalised. And sometimes heritage can be part of the problem and there is work to do in identifying and changing negative ways of seeing the world and living within it.
We are working with communities, public institutions and other partners in the Middle East, eastern Asia and elsewhere to use cultural heritage to promote fairness, prosperity and peaceful relationships between diverse people.
Cultural Corridors of Peace
We have been supporting Bedouin people in Lebanon, Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories to safeguard their cultural heritage, to keep it alive and to use it for the benefit of their families and communities. Bedouin cultures are a group of shared but diverse traditions, beliefs and practices. This living heritage is at risk from conflict, hard borders, social change, marginalisation and discrimination. This is a concern for many Bedouin communities, because their heritage is a source of self-sufficiency, collective endurance, prosperity and wellbeing. Bedouin people wish to document their heritage and to pass it on - as a living inheritance - to younger generations. They wish to raise awareness of their traditions, ways of life and contributions to wider society. They aspire to a better future for themselves and their children.
Archaeology & heritage in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq
The Kurdistan Region has been through sustained armed conflict and economic crisis. Cultural heritage has an important role to play in people's efforts to build a new future for themselves. We have been working with partners in the Region and internationally, on an equitable basis. Together, we have been integrating archaeological research with locally-driven heritage protection and management. We are helping local people to identify the opportunities that heritage can provide for development, without its destruction (e.g. through looting). We are supporting people to use their archaeology and heritage as a means of building cultural tolerance and creating critically-informed national narratives. We have delivered new museum resources for children and adults, to support learning about their diverse pasts and about the importance of their archaeology.
Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth
Through its Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth programme, the British Council is exploring ways in which culture can improve the lives of people around the world. The priority is enabling marginalised groups to use heritage to bring prosperity and wellbeing to their everyday lives. So far, the British Council has delivered the programme in Columbia, Kenya and Vietnam. We are doing research to inform the potential extension of the programme to China. We are also advising on the further development of the global programme.