art diplomacy

Deb Mukharji is a writer and a former Diplomat. He served as the Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, and is a long time friend to our country. Being an ardent art lover and culture enthusiast, he writes about Bangladesh's involvement in the Khajuraho Dance Festival.

Mr Low Sze Wee, Director, Curatorial, Collections & Education, National Gallery Singapore, shared with Rattana Lao (Modern Diplomacy) on the origin, expectation and reception of the Artist and Empire: (en) countering colonial legacy exhibition at the National Gallery Singapore. [...] "Through this, we hope the exhibition will generate greater discussion on the formation of national identities and their complex relationships with the colonial experience."

Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, talked about how culture was instrumental to economic growth, citing a 2015 study that said the arts generated 29.5 million jobs worldwide, more than the auto industry. “Development without culture cannot be sustainable or equitable or inclusive,” she said. Other discussions at the conference resonated more subtly with the most salient issues of the day, including panels on refugees, censorship, heritage preservation and cultural diplomacy.

Highlighting the collaborative efforts between the UAE and the UK in the fields of art, literature, science, sport, and trade, Sheikh Nahyan, who is also Patron and Honorary Member of the group, said, "We are all veteran diplomats of culture. Thus it is that we should all thrive in this UAE-UK year of cultural collaboration. This year of collaboration promises to deepen and strengthen our mutual understanding in beautiful, entertaining, instructive, and exciting ways."

“Merkel maybe can do something to open the border,” Farhad said in English, which he has learned over the year since he fled war and poverty in his home country. Farhad also likes to draw portraits of his family and friends, fairytale castles, nature or anything else that comes to mind. Painting, he said, has helped during the flight. “I was in Turkey, I was in Greece,” Farhad said of the trip. “Here in the camp I like my painting, I like drawing my feelings and faces.” 

Museums across New York are waging a cultural war on prejudice in Donald Trump's America, flexing the soft power of art and photography to compound the city-wide climate of protest. From talks about Islamic art to a Muslim exhibition, swapping Picasso and Matisse for Iranian, Sudanese and Iraqi artists and extending a children's exhibition, museums have dreamt up multiple ways to promote art and education in the wake of Trump's short-lived travel ban.

The British Council in the Philippines and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently launched the ‘Art for Urban Change’ partnership. The tie-up  aims to contribute to more liveable and creative cities, and includes the creation of site-specific artworks on pumping stations found along Pasig River, a traveling art exhibition, and the creation of a public art advisory group.

City NYC, by Snapwire
February 21, 2017

Art and artists are under increasing threat from attacks and censorship.

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