literary diplomacy

#longstorySHORT, an innovative initiative that has raised the profile of African literature on social networks and in the public imagination, has its first reading outside South Africa in December. Launched in March 2015, #longstorySHORT is produced by Pretoria-based boutique content agency Kajeno Media. The project manifests through live readings and recordings by high-profile celebrity performers in spaces like public libraries, book cafes and cultural hubs.

From punk rock musicians to state-sponsored emojis, a look at the role of popular culture in PD communication.

The Ministry of External Affairs is getting ready to promote the global discipline of Indology as a soft diplomatic platform.[...] Indology, which includes the study of the Vedas, Vedanta, Upanishads and the Sanskrit classics, has a global pool of scholars who can project India’s core civilizational values effectively on the global stage, said Karan Singh, former president of the ICCR and one of the prominent speakers at the event. 

 “The role of translation and international publication cannot be ignored in intercultural relations. However, considering the current favorable air of cultural diplomacy and academic theorizing, translation should be viewed in the field of cultural relations which covers cultural activities and the role played by private institutions,” Culture Minister added.

British Library Celebrates West African Storytelling

Inside the British Library’s exhibition, West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song, which traces 1,000 years of West Africa’s cultural and literary history.

“An Illustrated History of Kazakhstan,” which uses colourful materials to acquaint the reader with the historic heritage of the country and its people, was presented by the author. He noted the history of the Great Steppe country from ancient times to the present has many epoch-making events and interesting facts and attracts the attention of all who love to study the past.

The prize was for Pasternak’s “notable achievement in both contemporary poetry and the field of the great Russian narrative tradition”. But officials singled out Dr Zhivago, an elegiac novel that refused to celebrate the Soviet system. [...] With Soviet cultural diplomacy in the doldrums, any further intervention by Nehru would have deeply embarrassed Moscow. 

PD News headlines this week explore whether literature can be a vehicle for public diplomacy.