On January 24 the Cultural Forum held in Port-au-Prince as part of the COSAFH cultural center initiative to bring Haitian youth from different backgrounds together in a nationalistic and cultural spirit. Unfortunately, the forum, that looked more like a neighborhood gathering ended amid recriminations and without a final communique. The seven days of discussion highlighted the social differences between the youths of different economic status over the place of culture and of the education and power of culture in society and the ways and means of international cultural cooperation. The youth spoke not only with the voice of their representatives but also with that of their cultural communities, driving home the principle that cultural freedom and cultural cooperation are a legitimate, and can be part of national development. The forum proposals were for specific steps to increase opportunities for cultural creation and the dissemination of cultural values in poor neighborhoods, but ends with no official agenda on how the ideas behind this brotherhood gathering will stay alive.
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