Ints Dālderis (Minister of Culture of Latvia), Jan van Weijen (Head of Culture, Public Diplomacy & Press, Embassy of The Netherlands in the UK) and Martin Stitt (Writer and Director). Three people from different fields of work with a different point of view about art as cultural diplomacy and the importance of it.
The Hon. Ints Dālderis (Minister of Culture of Latvia)
What role would you say music plays in relation to soft power and cultural diplomacy?
Music is a universal language for the whole world. Music touches our souls. I think that many governments and leaders have used soft power and the power of music for different goals, but I think music is a very effective part of soft power. I have played all over the world, and as a musician I think that music is mostly used for good reasons. I am from a small country and not many people know about my small country and I hope that through playing my instruments and travelling with orchestra’s, that people see my country as musical. The image of a country is very important especially in this globalised world.
Jan van Weijen (Head of Culture, Public Diplomacy & Press, Embassy of The Netherlands in the UK)
How do you think the art exchange can foster and/or encourage future multiculturalism in society?
Art exchange is intrinsically linked to culture. There is no art without culture as art comes from the place where it is born! Sometimes it is born in a place where there is only one culture and sometimes it is born in a place with several cultures. As I explained, the world is becoming more and more inter-linked so multicultural will play a more significant role but so will something that comes from within. So you show and present yourself to the world through your art work which is very important.
Martin Stitt (Writer and Director)
How relevant do you think Art is as a form of cultural diplomacy?
Although I am not very familiar with cultural diplomacy, I think that Art is highly influential in cultural diplomacy. I think it boils down to arts, film and any form of media really, in particular the commercial ones films and TV, in so much that as soon as you portray another nationality, community or country on an accessible medium and it goes global people start to formulate a view. So a lot of people have a distinct view of America but have never visit purely because of what they’ve learnt through American media and film. So as a tool for cultural diplomacy I think it is highly relevant and important.