Biodiversity, according to the dictionary, is the degree of variation of life forms within a given species, ecosystem, biome or an entire planet, and it is considered to be absolutely essential to their health.
‘Musing on Culture’, the blog, was born three years ago, with the aim to contribute towards the maintenance of ‘voice biodiversity’ in the cultural sector; a right, but also an obligation, for all of us who chose to ‘live’ and work in this sector and believe in its potential to transform people’s lives and even societies as a whole. It came about thanks to the digital technologies, social media in particular, which nowadays give us the opportunity to create our own space of expression, where we can share, debate and put to the test our thoughts, convictions and ideas, trying to push things a little further each time.
It was particularly gratifying for me to see that ‘Musing on Culture’, which started as a project of self-expression, has become useful to others as well. It has developed into a sort of library, where friends and colleagues may find not only my views, but also numerous other links to news, reports, books and videos related to the subjects that are being discussed. The fact that it is bilingual opens it up to the world and a number of foreign colleagues have already contributed with guest posts, enriching its contents and helping us to keep in touch, learning from each one’s different circumstances and, at the same time, allowing us to define goals and directions that are common to us all.
So, this week, which marks the blog´s third anniversary, I would like to thank my friend Cecília Folgado, official reviser of my Portuguese and on whose critical judgment of my writings I can always count; my friend Rui Belo, for designing the blog´s beautiful header; all my friends and colleagues who have written guest posts, generously sharing their views and experiences with us; and, last but not least, all the blog´s readers and commentators, who make this experience even richer.
As some of you already know, there´s something more in this anniversary week: a book. A book that was born in the mind of Gaëlle Marques and Álvaro Seiça (Bypass Editions) and which brings together, out of the variety of dispersed posts, a selection of texts that help to better identify the major areas of particular interest and concern for me, as well as my developing thinking process with regards to cultural management, communications, our relationship with people. We wish it may be useful to culture professionals, it may be informative for all those interested in the issues it raises, it may provoke further thinking and debate. It will be launched next Thursday, at 6.30pm, at Bulhosa bookshop in Lisbon. We hope you can join us to find out more about its contents, the process of making it and the people who worked – with inspiration, dedication, enthusiasm and talent – to make it happen. We also hope you can join us and participate in the debate. We´ll be in very good company...