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Cultural Diplomacy: Arts, Festivals and Geopolitics

Edited by Milena Dragicevic Sesic with Ljiljana Rogac Mijatovic and Nina Mihaljinac, Creative Europe Desk Serbia, Ministry of Culture and Information of Republic of Serbia, Belgrade, 2017, 411 pages, ISBN: 978-86-85033-34-6

A new comprehensive book, edited by Milena Dragicevic Sesic in collaboration with Ljiljana Rogac Mijatovic and Nina Mihaljinac and entitled Cultural Diplomacy: Arts, Festivals and Geopolitics, brings together results from two separate projects - the conference BITEF and Cultural Diplomacy: Theatre and Geopolitics, and the Creative Europe Desk Serbia research project about the state of the art in international and regional cultural collaboration in Serbia. These two projects have introduced a set of relevant texts, which are divided into the following five chapters: (1) Cultural Diplomacy: Soft Power or Fair Cooperation; (2) Theatre Festivals in Cultural Diplomacy; (3) Paradiplomacy and Bottom-up Cultural Diplomacy; (4) Serbia - Challenges and Perspectives of International Cultural Cooperation; and (5) Cultural Cooperation Data - Statistical Annex. The authors are dealing with the current key questions in cultural diplomacy, as they challenge its conceptual boundaries, actors - and, ultimately, address the need for its reformulation. Several authors in the first chapter define cultural diplomacy within the context of globalization and the new geopolitical situation, and give unconventional examples of cultural diplomacy which highlight the role of civil society. The second chapter deals with issues of festivals, considered as art platforms and valuable instruments in cultural diplomacy, presenting BITEF (the Belgrade International Theatre Festival) as an important example of success and good practice of the bottom-up cultural diplomacy. The book's third chapter focuses on the shifting trends and new actors and forms of cultural diplomacy such as gastrodiplomacy, paradiplomacy, the link between fashion and nation branding, etc. Issues regarding the cultural diplomacy from the perspective of Serbian authors are dealt with in the last chapter, in which eight authors offer an analysis of the research work in the fields of the audio-visual sector, visual arts, performing arts, literature, creative industries, cultural heritage, science and theory of art.

This rich collection of texts, written by prominent international scholars, practitioners and activists in the field of culture today, works perfectly both as relevant literature for scholars and a resource guide for practitioners.

The book is available for free download from: kultura.kreativnaevropa.rs/calls/CULTURAL-DIPLOMACY_web-.pdf