Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25

“Bike is a symbol of Freedom.”

--Russian PM Vladimir Putin; image from


American Art in a Global Context – Smithsonian Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Sculpture Smithsonian American Art Museum


PD Does Not Stand For Pixie Dust – Digger, Life After Jerusalem: "A quote I heard twice on Friday, attributed to Dan Sreebny, is that PD does not mean 'pixie dust.' You can't sp[r]inkle a little PD on a steaming mess and make it all better. It seems a lot of non-Public Diplomacy folks tend to leave PD out of the picture until something bad happens, and then they hope PD can fix it.

Part of this stems, no doubt, from the time before 'integregration,' when USIA was folded into the State Department. It seems it has been, and to a degree continues to be, an uncomfortable marriage. I think this is a shame. I believe in Public Diplomacy as part of our overall diplomatic strategy. It is not just about 'poster shows' and making people love us. Because people don't love or hate us because of a lack of exposure to America and Americans. They love or hate us (or both) because of our policies. Which is why I believe, as does Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Judith McHale, that Public Diplomacy HAS to have a seat at the policy table." Image from; on Sreebny, see.

Why states shouldn't count on Facebook for foreign policy - "My colleague, Ben O’Loughlin at Royal Holloway, has written a blog post on the potential consequences of states in the West, particularly the US and UK, increasingly relying on informal social networking of its citizens to promote foreign policy priorities. This would be a move away from the kind of ham-fisted attempts at public diplomacy seen in the wake of 9/11 aimed at getting Arab states to 'like' the west to allowing every day citizens to debate the international issues of the day. ... I share Ben’s scepticism. However, where he seems to be concerned that 'The Long Change, should it come to pass, implicates social media - and us as users and citizens – directly into international affairs in ways that require very careful scrutiny' I confess that I am more concerned over the idea that foreign policy could be constructively debated.'"

The new Turkey‎ - Andrew Finkel, Sunday's Zaman: "The authors of 'Why Welcome Al Basheer? Contextualizing Turkey’s Darfur Policy' are given the thankless task of trying to puzzle out why Ankara seemed to be so hospitable to a man who presided over anywhere up to 400,000 deaths and whom the International Criminal Court (ICC) first accused of war crimes and latterly of genocide and how the prime minister could utter the sentiment which has come to haunt every article critical of Turkish foreign policy, that Muslims don’t do genocide. ... It is not just over Darfur that Turkish public diplomacy appears to have hit the shredders. Were Turkey to draw from a newly replenished well of cultural confidence to address the problems which matter to it most, no one could complain. And if Turkey really no longer regarded its history and geography as a burden, it could make brisker progress in dealing with Armenia and even its own Kurdish population. "

Social Media, Political Communication, and Turkey Vol.2: - Efe Sevin, Reaching the Public: "As part of my social media and political communication in Turkey posts, I decided to introduce a project that I have been working on for quite some time. We started the Turkayfe project in May 2009. After spending six months on the conceptualization, we recently launched our website, Practically, the project is a place branding through storytelling attempt for Turkey. We aim to support Turkey’s branding attempts by using Web 2.0 technologies and by initiating a virtual grassroots movements. … [S]ocial media in Turkey, especially with regard to political communication, should not be seen as a paradigm shift. Social media

has not replaced (and is not likely to replace) traditional media in the upcoming years. Yet, if you want to reach younger and more education people – go online, go viral! In order to look attractive and professional in social media, you need to invest – social media is not 100% free! Last but not the least, legitimacy in online nation/place branding campaigns is a huge problem. You need to make sure you have (at least you can claim) legitimacy on a few grounds before unveiling your project! … About me Hi, this is Efe Sevin. I am a researcher interested in public diplomacy, nation/place branding, and public opinion studies. I am also a PhD student at American University, School of International Service in Washington, D.C." Image from

TAU conference to teach int'l medical students about Israel - Alyx Rimberg, Jerusalem Post: "Sixty-five foreign medical students will come to Tel Aviv University on Sunday to learn about Israeli humanitarian aid efforts across the globe. The four-day Humanitarian Medical Conference, organized by 20 TAU students who have fellowships from the StandWithUs public diplomacy leadership program, will explore the trials and tribulations of Israeli medical aid."

Вакансії: Вакансія координатора програми “Громадські зв’язки”- Ресурсний Центр Гурт: "Job Position/Title: Program Coordinator, Ukraine Start Date: August, 2010 Reporting to: CC Program Director in Ukraine; PH Country Director PH International (formerly known as Project Harmony, Inc.) is seeking a Coordinator for the USAID Community Connections Program in Ukraine. … We are looking for a confident individual who will promote the Community Connections Program successfully. Community Connections is a public diplomacy program funded through USAID and implemented in Ukraine by PH International. It provides three week professional training and internship opportunities in specific areas to groups from Ukraine who will travel to a community in the United States and reside with a host family."

Between the Lines: What's up this week for Vermont book lovers - Barre Montpelier Times Argus: "Montpelier native Stanley R. Sloan dealt with European security as an analyst for the CIA and during his 24 years with the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress . ... He ... frequently appears overseas as a guest speaker

for the U.S. Department of State’s Public Diplomacy program." Image from


Annals of Cultural Diplomacy: Obama and Ed Ruscha - ‎Lea Carpenter, Big Think: “'Words matter.' This was what Obama said during his campaign. Did his celebrated belief in—and unique gift with—language factor into his choice of artist Ed Ruscha when considering a gift for the British Prime Minister? And is the fact that David Cameron, in return, gave our American President a piece of art composed of words similarly significant? ... Many of Ruscha’s most beautiful canvases consist of words. The print Obama chose, Column With Speed Lines, does not, and so it may not be, to those less familiar with the artist’s work, immediately identifiable.

But when we think about visual artists who use words as tools we think of Ruscha first among equals in twentieth-century art. ... Ruscha may be as American as an iPod, but his skill—and his message—is vastly more cerebral and sophisticated. Ruscha might be the artist Jackie Kennedy would have chosen for a diplomatic exchange. The former First Lady paid deep, reverent attention to the relationship between art and diplomacy, and knew that the things with which we surround ourselves can serve as uniquely powerful symbols of our ideals and our intentions, as uniquely powerful as the things that we say, or the bills that we sign." Image of a Ruscha work from

Jack Bauer and the Muslim character - National: “[T]he Muslim Public Affairs Council has played its part in facing down stereotypes in the media. Muslims On Screen and Television (MOST) was formed; not as a way of converting Hollywood, as Lauren Levy, the creative executive at Miramax said, but ‘instead, they want to work with writers, producers, show-runners, agents on their own terms... to create more balanced, diverse and authentic characters and themes’. Inroads are also being made in the GCC. Cynthia Schneider, the director of MOST, is working with the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage to create cultural diplomacy programmes, while the Qatar Foundation’s forthcoming film production on the 13th-century Sufi philosopher Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi will star the Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Daniel Day-Lewis. Another Doha-based media company, the Alnoor Fund, is raising $150 million for a new film about the Prophet Mohammed and has signed on the producer Barrie Osborne of The Lord of the Rings[I] and The Matrix.[I]”

Cultural and Educational Achievements of the UAE Exhibited in Assilah - WAM: Emirates News Agency: "A range of cultural developments is being showcased at the Assilah Festival 2010 in Morocco, highlighting the UAE's continuing drive to preserve its heritage.

The exhibition: Cultural and Educational Achievements of the UAE, is held at the Culture Palace in the medina, an apt backdrop in which to highlight the strides made by the Abu Dhabi Authority of Culture and Heritage (ADACH) in recent years when it comes to the development and preservation of its culture and heritage." Image from

UAE Becomes A Model For Cultural Diplomacy - Bernama: "Secretary General of Morocco's Assilah Forum Mohamed Bin Issa said that United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a model for cultural diplomacy, Emirates news agency (WAM) reports. He also hailed the openness of UAE to the cultures of the world and cited the literary and cultural prizes such as Sheikh Zayed Book Award launched by the UAE, as a telling example in this regard. Bin Issa was speaking at the opening of the two-day seminar, which began on Monday, on diplomacy and culture being held as part of the Assilah Cultural Festival currently under way in Morocco. UAE is participating in the Assilah Festival. Bin Issa added that the UAE has been able to excel in promoting the good and distinguished image through its international cultural events held in the country attracting senior decision makers, political, cultural, economic and scientific personalities in the world. 'Culture is no longer a missing link in the international relations as many countries have adopted the attitude to enhance the diplomacy through mutual pumping of substantial amount of culture among them', said Bin Issa. 'Many countries that listen to the pulse of the time are beginning to realize now that conventional diplomacy will grow thin, prompting them to take the initiative to think of alternatives such as popular diplomacy as well as tourist, artistic and exploratory diplomacies', added Bin Issa. Meanwhile, former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called on the world countries to establish a new world which is not dominated by the Western culture."

All Turk and all play - National Post: "It’s a banner year for Istanbul. A banner over the gilded city’s gates proclaims its status as 2010 European Capital of Culture. Surely, I ask Bairuq, the intelligentsia come for all the galleries sprouting along the Bosphorus? The street music festivals in Beyoglu? … And this weekend? Let’s call it a Hacivacation. It’s Istancool, latest in the Liberatum series of art-and-society festivals organized by 27-year-old cultural entrepreneur Pablo Ganguli. Each fest brings out the Briterati and international elite — at Istancool, headliners included architect Zaha Hadid and intellectual gadabout Gore Vidal — and is billed as 'cultural diplomacy.' This whiffs of imperialism. But in three whirling days, a dizzying new Istanbul conquers cool hearts and minds."

The Abraham Path: Bringing East and West closer together - Today's Zaman: "Perhaps one of the best-known figures from the Old Testament and the Quran is Abraham/Ibrahim. A cultural route following in his footsteps is relying on this link to bring people from the East and West closer together. Dr. Joshua Weiss, managing director of the Abraham Path Initiative (API),

tells us about the project, how the path has already had a major impact on people along the route, both socially and economically, and about progress on the Turkey segment of the route. ... Abraham was chosen as the basis for the route because he’s a direct link between the countries along the path in Turkey and the Middle East and the 3.5 billion people worldwide who share the same spiritual tradition, be it through the Old Testament, New Testament or Quran. With Abraham as a common reference point, the route can, above all, promote cultural diplomacy on a grassroots level." Image from

Vietnamese culture highlighted at gala dinner - "A gala diner themed 'Vietnamese culture – identity and integration' was held on July 22 to spotlight Vietnam’s cultural heritages in honour of the officials who are currently attending the 43 rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM 43).

During the gala, the guests were entertained with a special programme of Vietnamese folk music which has been recently recognised by UNESCO as world intangible cultural heritages. ... The ASEAN foreign ministers attending the gala dinner wore robes made from Thai Tuan silk with decorative patterns of Vietnamese ancient coins and bronze drums, which is a feature of cultural diplomacy." Image from

Sergio Cortesini Receives First Annual Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize - "Sergio Cortesini of the University of Cassino in Italy has been awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s 2010 Terra Foundation for American Art International Essay Prize. Cortesini was selected by an international review panel for his essay 'Unseen Canvases: Italian Painters and Fascist Myths across the American Scene.' ... Cortesini’s essay describes the Italian government’s program to send a series of exhibitions of contemporary art to the United States between 1935 and World War II in an attempt to offset through cultural diplomacy Fascist Italy’s belligerent image in America. In particular, it traces the reception of one exhibition that toured to 12 venues across the country, including the Minnesota State Fair, from 1935 to 1936."


Clinton adds to curious history of mango diplomacy - Sebastian Abbot, Associated Press: When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton offered Pakistan help last week in exporting mangoes to the U.S. in a bid to dampen anti-American sentiment, it marked the latest chapter in the fruit's curious history of diplomacy and intrigue. Clinton's offer came three years after the Bush administration opened up the U.S. market to Indian mangoes in exchange for allowing Harley-Davidson to sell its famed motorcycles in India - a deal that generated goodwill as the two countries finalized a civilian nuclear agreement. ... it remains to be seen how quickly Pakistan can benefit from Clinton's recently announced initiative.

India had trouble with logistics and pricing when it first tried to export its mangoes to the U.S. It is even more uncertain whether U.S. aid will really dent anti-American sentiment in Pakistan and motivate the government to step up support for the Afghan war, a move the Pakistanis have resisted for years. As an Indian proverb says, "You can't hurry a mango tree to ripen its fruit." Pakistani mangoes image from

Digital alarmists are wrong - Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons, So Google is not making us stupid, PowerPoint is not destroying literature, and the Internet is not really changing our brains. But they may well be making us think we're smarter than we really are, and that is a dangerous thing.

Downtime in the Digital Age: On information overload? Try unplugging that smartphone - William Powers,

Iran: The Excuse is Uglier than the Offense - Tariq Alhomayed, It appears that the soap opera of the Iranian researcher – or scientist – Shahram Amiri has not and will not end; this has become like one long telenovela. Tehran has now claimed - through an unnamed Iranian official speaking to the Iranian Fars News agency – that Shahram Amiri was a double agent, and that Iran was able to penetrate US intelligence through him. What Tehran is saying about Shahram Amiri is nothing more than propaganda and blatant propaganda at that.

Spartacus; Laurencia - Luke Jennings, In Soviet Russia, ballet was an instrument of political propaganda and indoctrination. The Bolshoi's Spartacus,

which launched the company's Covent Garden summer season on Monday, tells the story of the uprising against imperial Rome by Thracian gladiators in the first century AD. The piece was choreographed by Yuri Grigorovitch in 1968, and audiences were invited to identify Spartacus and his brave band with the Soviet state, struggling for self-realisation in a hostile world. Despite its defunct political agenda, the piece has proved to have a life after the demise of the USSR. Image from article


“Something that’s cool can fade. But something that’s useful won’t. That’s what I meant by utility.”

--Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, rejecting the comparison that his company should be regulated, since he likened the company to an electric utility

“[T]he Internet records everything and forgets nothing.”

--Jeffrey Rosen, “The Web Means the End of Forgetting,” New York Times

“As our inward life fails, we go more constantly and desperately to the post office. You may depend on it, that the poor fellow who walks away with the greatest number of letters proud of his extensive correspondence has not heard from himself this long while.”

--Henry David Thoreau


“If your posts on Twitter were among 300 million included in a study by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern University, you’re probably happiest in the morning and least satisfied about noon. Analyzing words in those posts, researchers found that Thursday is the saddest day; Sunday, the happiest.

People on the West Coast who post are happier than their counterparts on the East Coast. The moods were mapped, showing happy times (greener areas) and unhappy (red areas). 'We’re not claiming we’ve made a great scientific discovery,' said Sune Lehmann, a researcher, but “there’s great promise in the data.”

--The New York Times; image from article


Fake femme fatale shows social network risks; image from article

FACTOID, one of the nation’s largest booksellers, announced Monday that for the last three months, sales of books for its e-reader, the Kindle, outnumbered sales of hardcover books.

--The New York Times


freda said...

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Rupinder said...
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Virtual Assistant Services,Web Research Services said...
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