Cultural Diplomacy

As World War II ended, America faced another challenge: the Cold War with the USSR and the Eastern Bloc it influenced. As relations began to freeze, it became clear that nuclear weapons, spies, and the traditional tools of war wouldn’t be enough to fight Soviet hegemony. And so the West, argues Greg Barnhisel, turned to their secret weapon: books.

Taiwan’s famous stinky tofu made its debut in Washington’s Smithsonian Museum. The occasion was the result of Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau’s New York Representative Office cooperating with the Smithsonian Museum to hold a Taiwan Night Market. The S. Dillon Ripley Center at the museum was filled with red lanterns, snacks and all the sights and sounds of a Taiwan night market—including stinky tofu.

The first major exhibition of Māori portraits in the United States opens tomorrow, Saturday 9 September, at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. [...] They are a snapshot in time and have huge significance for our cultural identity and heritage. Just as salient today, these portraits help define the modern society of Aotearoa New Zealand. Knowing that these portraits will again forge cross-cultural interactions is a remarkable accomplishment.’

This year Georgia and Cyprus are celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations, and I think we have achieved substantial progress in forming excellent political, economic and cultural cooperation in this time. [...] I’m extremely proud of taking part in this endeavor. Last year we initiated the Georgian Culture Festival which was held in Nicosia and Limassol. This year we have added the beautiful city of Paphos as well.

A noted vocalist from Pune, Pandit Suhas Vyas, is all set to enthral the audience at the 'BRICS Vocal Concert' at Xiamen in China next week, through his Hindustani classical renditions. [...] "Getting an opportunity to showcase the Indian classical music on such a prestigious platform in itself is a great honor...Not just for me, but for the entire musical fraternity in India," he said.

Dalian-based Haichang Ocean Park Holdings, the mainland’s largest marine theme park operator, has implemented a go-global strategy, with plans to build overseas amusement parks along the beltway of countries that make up China’s new silk road trade initiative.[...] Beijing has been striving to export its cultural heritage and increase the projection of Chinese “soft power” amid the country’s increasing economic might.

France struck a blow in the battle for influence in the Middle East today as it unveiled the Louvre’s €1 billion outpost in Abu Dhabi. The project, which will open to the public on November 11, is being hailed as the Arab world’s first universal museum and an instrument of French soft power.

September 6, 2017

In the not-too-distant past, museums and the arts were agents of hard power. Wards initially of royal courts and then nation states, museums were repositories of hard power—safeguarding the spoils of war and human conquest of nature.

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