A global, year-round celebration of the world’s culture, created by the Khalili Foundation, culminating in the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on 21st May.
“No child is born to hate. We are born as human beings first; religion is given to us at birth.”
Professor Sir Nasser D Khalili
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
On the occasion of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity.
“Difference is of the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace – respect for diversity.”
from his 1998 Nobel Prize lecture
The World Festival of Cultural Diversity is a global, synchronised celebration of cultural diversity supported by UNESCO. It is a year-round programme of events and activities leading up to the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on 21st May.
The Festival is created and coordinated by the Khalili Foundation to spotlight efforts around the world to preserve and promote cultural diversity, especially through the cultural sector.
Special Festival section on GA&C spotlighting various technological features and digital exhibits that showcase the world’s cultural expressions.
A campaign to tackle the cultural bias on Wikipedia including the engagement of non-Western cultural institutions to digitize and release more content on open access.
Six stellar panel discussions (webinars) over 12 months exploring how cross-cultural dialogue can be fostered through communities,
Special event on the World Day of Cultural Diversity (May 21st 2023) at the UNESCO HQ in Paris. This will include talks, performances, film screenings, a reception and fundraising dinner.
A series of lectures that explore the story and evolution of science throughout history and in different cultural contexts.
An architectural design competition for resilient and adaptable houses that advance, adapt and update specific local building traditions to meet 21st century needs.
An intercultural research project looking at how deliberate spaces can be created for greater cross-cultural dialogue and peacebuilding
A short film to show how young people in the UK are using global citizenship to advance their career and learning opportunities.
“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour.”
On Friday 26 May 2023 we will celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
Featuring a gala reception for the World Festival of Cultural Diversity, live performances, and premiere of a UNESCO-Khalili Foundation film
World-renowned artist Beeple, who broke records in 2021 for selling an NFT for $69.3m, has donated an NFT for his work “Biological Collectible” (a magnificent digital work accompanied by a physical) to be auctioned as part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity– the proceeds will go to UNESCO’s efforts to support arts projects in developing countries.
“Diversity is not an abnormality but the very reality of our planet. The human world manifests the same reality and will not seek our permission to celebrate itself in the magnificence of its endless varieties.”
The themes explored are set by the recently published Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity 20th anniversary book, published by the Khalili Foundation. You can learn more here.
Over the coming months, we are working with Aspen Institute UK to arrange 6 seminal webinars, each with a stellar panel discussing a particular aspect of cultural diversity. These include:
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty, and there is strength.”
We encourage you to nominate your exhibition, performance, lecture or special event to be part of the World Festival of Cultural Diversity.