Digital cultural diversity

Briefing 22-04-2021

Digital technologies have revolutionised every aspect of our lives, and culture is no exception. They have impacted on the value chains of all the cultural and creative industries not only as regards the creative process and its execution but also as regards the making of a work or product of art and its promotion, distribution, marketing and sale. Cultural heritage can be digitised and, in the case of analogue film, it needs to be digitised to be made accessible. Some production processes are solely digital and are born digital. Technology has a huge potential to make culture accessible to all, by democratising both consumption and involvement in cultural creation. However, technology depends on equipment and infrastructure, which does not necessarily facilitate the diversity of content available and discoverable online. Other factors, such as language, skills or geographical location can also make it harder to discover online cultural content reflecting cultural diversity. Conscious of such barriers, UNESCO has issued guidelines on the implementation of the Convention on Cultural Diversity in Digital Environments. The EU is part of this convention and has tools and funds to promote and protect cultural diversity, in line with its obligation stemming from the Treaties, not just on its own territory.