2013 to current
Funded by the European Union
The Southplanet portal was created in 2006 to meet the specific needs of artists and cultural operators. Developed by Africultures in liaison with its network of international partners (in Africa, the Groupe30 Afrique and Arterial Network ; in the Caribbean, Media Sport and Entertainment, Gens de la Caraïbe and the Collectif 2004 Images ; in the Pacific, Futher Arts, the Alliance Française of Vanuatu and the Pacific Arts Alliance), the site is both:
• A database of ACP country artists, cultural operators, organizations and events that makes it possible to pool information that is otherwise hard to find on the Internet;
• A networking tool destined for these different actors, enabling them to get to know one another, exchange practices and work together.
Further Arts’ role is to do research into the musicians in the region and produce a database. We are working with the Alliance Francaise (they are researching the visual artists).
Short term objective: A tool to promote artists and distribute their works.
As Southplanet benefits from the reputation and networks that Africultures has worked to establish over the past fifteen years, the portal offers artists a platform to break out of their isolation and to give their work visibility and recognition.
The aim is both to realize economies of scale (to share organizing a band’s tour with several places instead of just one, for example, disposing of free promotions spaces on the Internet), to encourage the flow of information (so that artists know a competition or training course is coming up…), to support a country’s cultural industry (by providing contacts for organizations, technicians and artists) and to help new talents emerge (so emerging artists can apply to venues and events).
Midterm objective: A tool to help cultural actors professionalize and to structure the sector
Southplanet needs to facilitate the emergence of a structured, organized, professional cultural sector.
It advocates pooling not only information, but also connecting people. If they are to transform isolated private initiatives into a veritable cultural industry, operators need to work together: the less experienced become more professional thanks to those with more experience, organizations organize the circulation of works and shows together (economies of scale)… Pooling resources needs to help everyone find their rightful place, connect with the right people whose various skills are complementary, in the most professional way possible.
Good practices exchange forums and contact directories are among the tools that are needed to connect actors, a key factor in reinforcing their capacities and the emergence of new cultural industries.
Long term objective: An awareness raising and policymaking tool
Decision makers and institutions will only be able to support the structuring of the sector if they dispose of the right information. With Southplanet, they will have precise, exhaustive information in real time, provided directly by cultural actors themselves.
It will be possible to quantify, sort and analyze this data, which will facilitate decision-making and political backing. Serving as a directory, the database will enable decision makers to send email surveys to consult the cultural sector.
a tool to fight unemployment and reduce poverty Southplanet favours a better circulation, distribution and sale of works (thanks to their increased visibility before cultural operators, producers and buyers), a more attractive work market (if local technicians, actors, graphic designers are known to exist, they can be recruited rather than bringing in others from abroad), the attraction of new funds and producers, building confidence via the “showcase” of the sector’s vivacity that the site offers… so that the cultural sector, which employs considerable numbers of people, is a dynamic economic sector that helps to reduce countries’ poverty.