Archive for the 'Liverpool' Category


The tour Itinerary at the Inter-cultural Cities Conference

Saturday, 3rd May 2008: visit around
Kensington, starting 10.00am

More info on Kensington Regeneration is available at

10.00am. Convene at St. Georges Hall, North Entrance & leave in Minibus for Kensington The bus will have two distinct groups going to Kensington, some going to a) METAL in Marmaduke Street; and the rest going on b) Kensington Magical Mystery Tour to end up at the Hindu Cultural Organisation at 10.45pm for our hour’s meeting there on Kensington.

We will first pass Edge Hill Railway Station to show all delegates where the Liverpool Pavillions Festival will take place from 12 noon to 6.0pm the same day with our Kensington Czech Slovak Roma Band playing at 5.30pm


The Band….

On the opening night of the Intercultural Cities conference, there was a party at Liverpool Town Hall. These great images were taken by Martin Pinder’s team. Text by Martin Pinder.

East Meets West

“A local Liverpool Roma Band from Kensington played for Conference delegates at Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday night at a Welcome Reception headed by Liverpool City Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Colin Hilton. ‘Gypsy Brothers’ come from Kensington, L6 and L7, an Inner City neighbourhood which is participating in the European Year of Dialogue Conference in Liverpool on ‘Inter-Cultural Cities’. The Band hails from the Czech Republic and Slovakia and came over to Liverpool since the EU Accession in May 2004 when some 10? countries including the Czech Republic and Slovakia joined the European Union.”

Father and Son

“Band leader and bass guitarist Jan Bendig Snr ( left, background ) is shown here with his son, Jan Bendig Jnr singer (foreground), when they performed with their ‘Gypsy Brothers’ band at Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday night. Romas ( “gypsies” ) migrated from Radjisthan and Punjab, India, centuries ago to Europe and beyond where they have influence music not only in Europe ( flamenco) but also in North Africa and South America. Indian culture is traditionally passed on from parent to sibling, often with certain castes specialising in different fields. This tradition lives on with the Bendig family in Kensington, Liverpool, where they live. Jan Bendig, son, is a pupil at the Kensington Academy of St Francis of Assisi and sings in Czech and the Roma languages. Jan looks forwad to mastering song in English.”

Music Has No Frontiers

“A full-turn out of East and Central Europeans was present at Liverpool Town Hall on Wednesday night when the local Liverpool Roma Band from Kensington played for Conference delegates at a Welcome Reception. ‘Gypsy Brothers’ are shown here with guest-of-honour Dr Vladimir Sucha, Director for Culture Communication and Multilingualism at the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission. Dr Sucha from Slovakia was pleased to see fellow Slovakians and Czechs who make up the band spreading his region’s culture in Liverpool. From left to right, Ales Olah guitar; Geoffrey Brown, Director of EUCLID, organisers of the Inter-Culutural Cities Conference; Rene Gabor drums; Dr Valdimir Sucha; Jan Bendig Jnr, singer; Mario Zeman, guitar; Jan Bendig Snr, band leader and guitar.”

Larger versions of these images available at

The missing aspects

In my opinion the conference focused on how the host city and its inhabitants can make the migrant group part of the large community, but only by indicating what the hosts should do for them.

I personally think that intercultural approachoes should be established by the two parties involved:

the immigrants should want to be part of the host community and make efforts to align him/her to the culture and invironment of the city.

the governments should draw up rules to be followed by everybody: natives and migrants in equal terms. Sometimes, in order to maintain political relationships the police and bodies expected to enforce the law ignore what it is happening in certain communities, and they identify these situations as “domestic incidents”. By so doing the natives will see that there are no special treatements for the new comers and will see them as equals.

The central governments, on the other hand should recognize that after a certain period of honest work, best behaviour and payment of taxes in any country, the migrant should obtain automatically the nationality of that particular country.

These are a few ideas that may help in establishing interculturalism.


Conference Information

The Intercultural Cities Conference will take place 1st to 3rd May 2008 at:
St George’s Hall, Liverpool.

The main conference website where all logisitcs info is here:

What’s it all about?
As part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, the Intercultural Cities Conference will look at migration, diversity and urban life in a fresh way. The conference will not only provide an opportunity for International city leaders and experts to look at how different cultures can live together but how mixing can be turned to economic, social and cultural advantage. New thinking is needed on how diverse communities can co-operate in productive harmony instead of leading parallel or antagonistic lives.

Who will be there?
The three day programme, mainly taking place at St George’s Hall, will feature political leaders, policy makers and practitioners from major cities, including London, Madrid, Berlin, Lyon, Stuttgart, Rotterdam, Turin, Naples, Istanbul, Bremen, Marseilles, Gdansk, Leicester, Manchester and Liverpool who will be sharing their experiences and provide real examples of how being intercultural can bring social, cultural and economic advantages.

Experts and speakers from across Europe as well as the US, Canada and Australia include globalisation guru Saskia Sassen, New York Times writer Gregg Pascal Zachary, head of CEOs for Cities (a network for urban leadership based in Chicago) Carol Colettaworld renowned economic geographer Ash Amin, the world authority on cultural diversity and city planning Leonie SandercockLord Bhikhu Parekh, who says it is time to rethink multiculturalism, Keith Khan who leads the campaign to make the London 2012 Olympics anunprecedented intercultural festival, and many more.  

The final day of the conference will provide delegates with the opportunity to explore examples of intercultural dialogue in and around Liverpool.

The conference format will break with convention in pursuit of maximum interaction between delegates and speakers, employing exciting techniques such as a Pecha Kucha and a World Café as well web 2.0 social networking run by Kisky Netmedia. There will be a virtual newsroom, run by the Media Diversity Institute, in which delegates will have the chance either to generate copy for a conference publication, or to be trained to be a journalist to report on the conference itself.

The conference will also offer the opportunity to enjoy an evening at Anfield, the world renowned home of Liverpool Football Club.

Who’s it for?
The conference aims to engage and inspire everyone interested in the intercultural city, particularly those responsible for planning and regenerationlocal economycommunity cohesioneducation and cultural services.

Who’s it not for?
If you like conferences where big name speakers hold forth from the stage whilst a passive audience snoozes in the stalls, or if you enjoy conferences where you never meet anyone new apart from a chance encounter in the coffee queue, then the Intercultural Cities Conference is probably not for you.

How to book…
Delegate rates start from just £120 (+VAT) and £360 (+VAT) for the two main days of the conference conference. To book your place on the conference click here.

The Mersey Partnership is the official accommodation booking service for this conference.  Rooms have been reserved in five city centre hotels, something to suit most budgets.  To view these hotels and to make a reservation please click here.  Please note that there are a limited number of rooms available and they are allocated on a first come first serve basis.

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