Information & Inspiration: the impact of cultural diplomacy
The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok has launched a new publication ‘Information & inspiration: the impact of cultural diplomacy’, a co-production of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and DutchCulture. The publication highlights examples of best practices that could serve as inspirational tools for cultural diplomacy.
The Dutch government, with its foreign policy and its international cultural policy, supports artists, cultural institutions and the creative industries to strengthen the Dutch profile abroad and establish a good position for the cultural and creative sector. Therefore, the publication Information & inspiration: the impact of cultural diplomacy offers inspiring examples and also provides information about Dutch and worldwide organisations, whose work has been highly valuable in the past years.
It includes 21 examples of cultural projects done on invitation from the Dutch embassies located in countries around the world, among which are Viet Nam, Slovakia, Canada, Colombia and Spain, and 17 international projects by different artists or artistic collectives.
Inspirational tools for cultural diplomacy
The publication highlights examples of best practices that could serve as inspirational tools for cultural diplomacy. These examples illustrate the connection between culture and other international policy goals. Very often, culture and art can align with certain political objectives, since the policy goals from the government vary from strengthening the international legal order and respect for human rights to sustainable development, food security, water and climate to social progress and multilateral cooperation and bilateral dimension, to just name a few. That’s why Dutch embassies abroad support Dutch arts and culture and also find a common niche with some of the political goals.
The informative part of the publication consists of a list of 95 Dutch organisations with focus on various disciplines and a list of 40 international organisations divided by continents. The selection of these organisations was made on basis of giving an overview of the variety of organisations, institutions, foundations etc. in the Dutch and international field. Due to the vastness of the field, this selection is by no means final. Rather, it is a stepping stone towards further research.
Scrolling through the content of the publication it becomes obvious that artists and other in the cultural sector can have a major impact on the world by finding and organising cultural activities that help address or discuss societal challenges. And that the embassies’ diplomatic work plays an essential role, as a transitional force between the world of art and culture and the global political system.
Image: Jazz performance by Saskia Laroo & Warren Byrd, Hanoi, 2018