Learn more about the Caribbean Cultural Market, the setting for the 2019 Gabo Fellowship
23 de Septiembre de 2019

Learn more about the Caribbean Cultural Market, the setting for the 2019 Gabo Fellowship

In the following seven points you will find out what to expect from this fellowship in Cartagena, which will be a source for the stories by the 15 fellows. Apply until October 7!
Foto: David Estrada Larrañeta / Archivo Fundación Gabo.

The Gabo Fellowship in Cultural Journalism 2019 will bring together 15 reporters from all over the world during the 11th edition of the Caribbean Cultural Market (Mercado Cultural del Caribe, or MCC) in Cartagena, with the aim of delving in the craft of the genres with which cultural journalism is built on a daily basis, mainly long-form journalism and opinion pieces. Apply for the Gabo 2019 Fellowship until October 7 here.

Fellows will be able to carry out coverage during the MCC, a space for interaction between the supply and demand of cultural products and services, where cultural entrepreneurship in the Colombian Caribbean is encouraged and promoted. It is an opportunity to get to know global trends and for networking, which leads to business generation, promotion, qualification, and circulation among the actors of the productive chain of the cultural industry.

Artists, managers, event and logistics production companies, theatre and festival programmers, media and marketing outlets, content producers, and organizations promoting culture will meet from November 28 to 30 in Cartagena to exchange experiences on the region's cultural proposals and initiatives.

The aim of this market, according to its director, Rafael Ramos, is not for people to buy and sell products. Rather, "What we look for every year is to open a space where artists and cultural managers can think of their work as companies and productive units," he explains.

Find out below what to expect from the market if you are chosen as a fellow. We remind you that the participants of the Gabo 2019 Fellowship will be invited from November 27 to December 1 to Cartagena—with accommodation, food and partial reimbursement of air tickets—where they will also take part in workshops (in English), directed by Héctor Feliciano and Jonathan Levi, master lecturers of the Gabo Foundation. Apply here until October 7!

A cultural business roundtable

The main objective of the Caribbean Cultural Market is to connect those who produce cultural goods and services and those who demand and promote the development of cultural industries.

The MCC revolves around a macro-business roundtable in which dance and music groups, and other cultural initiatives, can present their proposals to bidders from all continents. The idea is for this to serve as a space for individuals and organizations interested in getting to know and programming the cultural offer of the Colombian Caribbean in their events, as well as in establishing cooperation projects with public and private organizations.

A stage for Caribbean culture

The music and dance samples presented in the Showcases section, previously selected by MCC curators, are the festival that the city has enjoyed for a decade.

The purpose of this section is to recreate the Colombian Caribbean scene—its contemporary aesthetics and its tradition—so that businesses appreciate their work and see them as productive assets.

A gathering of knowledge

The idea behind the Encuentro de saberes (Gathering of knowledge) section is to shed light on the cultural assets the indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants of the Caribbean coast of Colombia have to offer. Often these are extracted from their origins and commercialized without recognition of the elements of heritage they possess, leaving their bearers and creators without a dignified share in the profits.

This space will be linked to the International Year of Indigenous Languages, a UNESCO initiative to highlight them as an instrument for the integration and memory of peoples. It will also promote meetings with Afro-Colombians within the framework of the International Decade for People of African Descent (United Nations) and will create spaces to make farmers’ know-how visible and cherished, as part of the Sensory Expedition through Montes de María project (Ministry of Culture).

The music of the Colombian Caribbean

The Caribbean Cultural Market is the occasion for artists and music groups to present their projects, born in the Caribbean coast of Colombia or inspired by their traditional music: music from Palenque, cantadoras, gaitas, accordions, cantos, instruments of the Wayúu people, fusions, champeta, and even hip-hop.

Dances and music in movement

The Caribbean Cultural Market has told the country and the world what the Caribbean coast of Colombia is as a people through its dances, the relationship of dance with the territory, and how dance has the power to resurface, heal, and create not only from the dance floor, but also on any street stage, whether it be the festival, the carnival, the Patron saint festivals and traditional festivals, or in ancestral rites. This market, where the main asset is music, cannot be conceived without taking dance into account.

An academic section

In the academic section of the MCC, there are master classes and workshops given on the keys to developing the cultural sector. It focuses on social development, the economy of culture, the dimension of culture in collective reparation processes, race and ethnicity, poverty, heritage, assets, cultural policies and ways to link the cultural sector of the Caribbean coast of Colombia with that of other regions and countries.

Culture as a response to war 

The market has a unique component in that it links rural populations and the ethnic communities of the Caribbean coast of Colombia—Afro and indigenous—that have been affected by more than half a century of armed conflict in the country.

This is the space to meet groups that share the cultural initiatives they develop in their communities as strategies of resistance and reconstruction of social cohesion as well as to hear stories of those who are collectively recovering their cultural assets, weakened during the conflict.

About the 2019 Gabo Fellowship in Cultural Journalism

The Gabo Foundation and the Ministry of Culture of Colombia, with support from the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano, announce the seventh edition of the Gabo Fellowship in Cultural Journalism, which will be held in Cartagena, Colombia, from Wednesday, November 27 to Sunday, December 1, 2019. The 2019 Gabo Fellowship will welcome 15 reporters from all over the world during the 11th Mercado Cultural del Caribe (Caribbean Cultural Market, in English) in Cartagena, in order to explore the various forms of cultural journalism in greater depth the and how they are crafted on a daily basis, specifically reportage and opinion pieces.

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