pop culture

In seeking to raise its international profile and influence, Taiwan can take lessons from South Korea’s growing soft power. Its soft power has been expanding through the growing appeal and attraction of its popular culture worldwide. As a result, the government has vigorously promoted Korean popular culture, taking advantage of its growing popularity to enhance Korea’s international standing

The annual J-Pop Summit, hosted by Superfrog Project, will be held from July 22 to 24. This Japanese cultural festival has been held in San Francisco every summer since 2009. By introducing the latest in Japanese music, fashion, film, art, games, tech-innovations, anime, and food, as well as niche subcultures, the festival has become a landing platform for new trends from Japan. 

Media can only become regional or global in a broadcasting regime that enables content to move freely beyond national borders. Regional broadcasting, which was restricted in the 1980s in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, now allows for the legitimate transfer of content across national borders. Within this framework, Japanese interaction with its East Asian neighbours can be viewed from two perspectives: politics and popular culture. The two are not mutually exclusive, but are driven by different forces.

From visiting mosques and cycling to performing in soap operas, a number of foreign ambassadors in Indonesia have developed their own diplomatic strategies to get closer to the local people. US Ambassador Robert O. Blake Jr. snatched the opportunity to interact with a greater number of Indonesians by appearing in Salam, a new religious soap opera series on the private TV station RCTI. 

The New York Times recently reported on a similar trend in Nigeria, where the West’s push against anti-gay laws has actually contributed to a significant increase in violence against gay people. America’s money and public diplomacy have opened conversations and opportunities in societies where the subject was taboo just a few years ago. But they have also made gay men and lesbians more visible — and more vulnerable to harassment and violence …  by groups of men, some of whom call themselves “cleansers.” 

To mark what would have been Frank Sinatra’s centennial year, Duke University Professor Shalom Goldman explores Sinatra’s deep connection to Israel. [...] Goldman sat down with The Jerusalem Post to discuss the connection between Israel and American popular culture.

Vietnam and South Korea have long shared a historical and cultural background in sinocentric Confucianism and have encountered few cultural obstacles. It is not surprising, then, that the ‘Korean wave’ — or Hallyu — in Southeast Asia is said to have started in Ho Chi Minh City, where the first Korean drama series ‘Medical Brothers’ was shown in 1998.

CPD’s curated list of some of the most notable examples of music diplomacy from the past century