Cultural diplomacy: Small steps with big effects. New ground for fostering relations between Kosovo and Serbia
Dr. Aleksandra Salamurović, Deputy Head of the Jena branch of the Southeast Europe Association, Jena
Arban Mehmeti, PhD Candidate at the Faculty of Language, Literature and Humanities, Humboldt-University Berlin
Jeton Neziraj, Founder and Artistic Director at Qendra Multimedia, Prishtina
Cultural diplomacy is often referred to as “soft” international policy instrument since it focuses on manifold practices of interpersonal engagement and exchange in everyday life beyond official state policy and their actors. This view foregrounds particular understanding of culture as a point of “meeting and melting”, with capacity to overcome political and military conflicts through offering alternatives to entrenched identities and promoting a pluralistic and creative approach to one´s own and foreign society, traditions, values.
How does this inclusive and possibly too idealistic concept of cultural diplomacy function in the Western Balkans, where culture is often been essentialized (cf. Ivan Čolović, “The Balkans- The Terror of Culture”?) in order to additionally strengthen nation-building processes implemented by political means?
These and other related issues will be discussed with our guests who are engaged in this topic from theoretical and practical perspective.
Dr. Aleksandra Salamurović, firstname.lastname@example.org