Skip to main content

‘The Long Nights of Interculturality’ Opens the (Virtual) Borders of the Whole World for One Week”

The third edition of the event hosted by ICDO under UNESCO patronage brings together the whole new virtual experience through panel discussions, art, films, and much more


Vienna – September 2020 – In the turbulent year of COVID-19, climate activism, and movements for racial and gender equality, the global community needs to feel united again. Continuing the tradition of the previous years, the International Cultural Diversity Organization (ICDO) will host the 3rd edition of ‘The Long Nights of Interculturality’, an annual public festival under UNESCO patronage. In order to ensure global accessibility and health safety, this year the festival will be held online from September 14-19 through new, exciting platforms and technologies.

Under the theme ‘Reunited’, ICDO will provide a rich six-day program in which you will experience spectacular artworks in augmented reality, motivational videos, insightful panels, and over 170 traditional costumes from all over the world. In our virtual panel discussion on media and the current global pandemic, Dr. Silvio Waisbord, Director and Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, Mr. Dragan Maga, Sales Consultant at the leading international IT company Infobip, a global communication platform for enterprises, and different eminent experts will share their opinions on this important topic. Internationally acclaimed artists such as Jerson Jimenez, Vatroslav Kulis, Pablo Posada Pernikoff, and many others will feature in “Art Reunited”, a virtual exhibition that will also make use of augmented reality. World activists will have a voice too: in the segment “Voices of the Change”, international opinion-makers and Indigenous representatives will be broadcast in the form of motivational videos. In addition to these will be Laurenz Faber, an activist for Fridays for Future, and Rania Ali featured as well in the Guardian, who came a long way from asylum seeker to established journalist and student at Webster University in Vienna and was with us during the first edition of The Long Nights of Interculturality. The festival will also include the presentation of the book “Costumes of the World”, in which traditional attires from the world will be displayed. 

“With this year’s theme, we want to highlight the need to motivate people to discover new cultures and traditions, especially in these hard times. ‘The Long Nights of Interculturality’ is proof of what different individuals can bring to the world through multicultural cooperation in every discipline. Our goal is to show that when we are all reunited we can do much more for the marginalized, the minorities, and for the current crisis affecting everyone. We wish that every participant learns something from these nights together” affirmed Josipa Palac, President of ICDO.

The events will start on September 14th, with an opening speech given by Josipa Palac, President of ICDO, followed by a panel discussion ‘Multidisciplinary Approaches to the COVID-19 Crisis and Cultural Diversity Knowledge Around the World’, in which speakers will share their expertise on the COVID-19 pandemic, cultural sensitivity, and traditional knowledge as a tool to improve current global challenges. Here, will have the floor H.E. Maria Cleofe Rayos Natividad, Ambassador Extraordinary and present Plenipotentiary of the Philippines, and Mr. Emil Stojanovski, Deputy Head of Mission of Australia to United Nations and international organizations in Vienna. The event will be moderated by Alberto Nodale, ICDO Honorary Ambassador, and will have its closing remarks given by H.E. Khojesta Fana Ebrahimkhel, Ambassador Extraordinary and present Plenipotentiary of Afghanistan. 

In times of COVID-19, not a lot of venues can boast internationally-recognized artists exhibiting their works in the same room. Our virtual exhibition ‘Art Reunited’ will start on September 15th and will make use, for some pieces, of tools such as augmented reality. Prominent artists from all over the globe, such as The Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Afghanistan, will share their views on cultural diversity and our society through a variety of mediums and artistic languages. 

“The current racial discrimination problems won’t be solved if we do not realize that color does not exist. Color is just a construction of our brain as well as our illusion of disconnection from each other” stated Jerson Jimenez, one of the artists featured in our exhibition. 

On September 16th, ICDO will organize the virtual panel discussion “Media and Reporting COVID-19”, tackling important issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic from the point of view of the media: can there be a balance between media responsibility and freedom? Our speakers will try to provide an answer to this important challenge. Experts from the George Washington University (USA), Webster Vienna Private University, the International Press Institute, and Infobip, international communication and IT company will be broadcast through ICDO’s Facebook Page.

Short documentaries around the world on diversity, traditions, and interculturality will be available on September 17th on ICDO’s official Youtube channel. 

Activists fight every day for issues such as Indigenous rights, biodiversity conservation, and racial and gender equality. ICDO collected motivational videos of these individuals and shared them in order to raise awareness and attract the global community. Some of these feature a 15-year old climate activist Sarah Goodie; Indigenous climate activist Jwikamey Torres, from the Sierra Nevada, protecting Mother Earth for future generations; Massay Crisanto, Garifuna Ambassador, human rights activist, TED talker, and model; Lina Burnelius, Swedish climate activist specialized in sustainable development implementation; Anicee Gohar, London-based Egyptian TV producer and reporter; the talented Egyptian fashion designer Maram Aboul Enein; Farid Dieck, social media influencer, content creator, social entrepreneur and ICDO Honorary Ambassador; and Alberto Nodale, ICDO Honorary Ambassador. 

“We would like to thank the embassies, partners, and participants, our team and those who contributed to this event even during these times. It is thanks to you that we succeeded this year. Each of our participants is important to us, as they are actively contributing to bridging cultures and foster a greater understanding in our societies. I am sure this will lead to a more tolerant world with less discrimination, open to new initiatives and ideas that can bring all of us closer.” added Josipa Palac, ICDO President.

The Long Nights of Interculturality will have their closing ceremony on September 26th, with the virtual presentation of the book “Costumes of the World”, where 170 traditional attires from different continents will be digitally displayed.