Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5

"As artist in residence for New York City's Sanitation Department, Mierle Ukeles creates major public artworks that explore the social aspects of waste management - such as putting mirrors on trash trucks to reflect the people who create the trash and choreographing a ballet for trucks at a landfill."

--Voice of America, regarding one of the artists to be sent overseas under the State Department new smART Power program; Image: Mierle Laderman Ukeles. Touch Sanitation, 1977–1980 from

"[S]he has a prosthesis that they made at Grossman Burn. It's really a work of art. We encourage her to wear it, but she doesn't always put it on."

--Women for Afghan Women's (WAW) Esther Hyneman, regarding Bibi Aisha, whose nose and ears were cut off by her Taliban-sympathising husband


US embassy cables: Economic factors were expected to 'test' US-China relationship in 2010 - "Thursday, 28 January 2010, 10:17 C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 07 BEIJING 000231 ... SUBJECT: BUILDING U.S. JOBS BY LEVERAGING CHINA,S GROWTH Classified By: Ambassador Jon M. Huntsman for reasons 1.4 (b), (d) and (e). ... 12. Apart from misperceptions of an unwelcoming political Environment and periodic complaints that key high tech investments are denied routinely due to CFIUS [Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States] concerns, Chinese companies view the U.S. economy as an attractive investment destination. Dispelling harmful myths

and actively promoting direct Chinese investment would help us capture a larger share of China,s rapidly growing ODI [outbound direct investment] levels (PRC ODI to the world roughly doubled from $27 billion in 2007 to $56 billion in 2008), which in turn would create more U.S. jobs. In this regard, the following steps should be considered: ... -- CONDUCT A PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CAMPAIGN to erase misperceptions about the scope of CFIUS restraints, including use of existing bilateral fora like the S&ED, Investment Forum, and JCCT and 'investment missions' to provincial capitals and second-tier cities." Image from

Lean WikiLeaks earn belly laughs - Lennox Grant, "The cables concerning Latin America have so far failed to excite independent specialists such as those on the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington. One director of the Council failed to see 'major damage' incurred to US diplomacy in the region. 'This is low -grade stuff,' he said. 'It's nothing that's going to start World War III. It's going to ignite a lot of belly laughs.' Google and other searches will continue to find out, say, what US envoys in Port of Spain really thought about the Patrick Manning administration, and its Foreign Minister Paula Gopee Scoon's groupie's gropings of Barack Obama at Piarco. But public-diplomacy utterances by US envoys have given away their private thinking. A year and a half ago, the State Department's Inspector General scathingly reviewed T&T law enforcement readiness. In remarks with sharp relevance today, the report said: 'If Trinidad's parliament enacted a wiretapping law and a law regularising the status of an elite anti-crime unit, among others, government officials charged with counternarcotics responsibilities would be better able to make real progress.'"

Artists are America's Newest Ambassadors - Faiza Elmasry, Voice of America: "The U.S. government has been sending dancers and musicians on international goodwill missions for decades. Now, for the first time, it is sending artists abroad as cultural ambassadors. The Obama Administration's new cultural diplomacy program is called smART Power. The Bronx Museum of the Arts in New York oversees the initiative.... After 15 artists are selected to participate, they will be sent to work on public art projects with students, teachers, athletes and artists in 15 countries, including Pakistan, Venezuela, China, Nigeria and Lebanon.

'I think it's important for many artists to get out of the bubble of their studio,' says Tim Rollins, an artist who is on the Bronx Museum's Board of Directors. ... 'Part of the excitement of coming up with projects is to figure out what's going to work,' Rollins says. 'So it isn't just that the government is sponsoring your vision as an artist in a selfish way. Really it is about what can we do, what can we come up with, which will engage the community that we're going to be visiting? And that's what we are - we are visitors. And, yeah, play the role of being a visitor as opposed to being a tourist, as opposed to being a propaganda instrument for the U.S. That won't work. What will work is a genuine dialogue between the communities to produce something that is of lasting, excellent and cultural value.' Image from

Public Diplomacy among soldiers, civilians and Afghans... - Mahtab Farid, Public Diplomacy in Afghanistan: "I have held many media workshops during the last year in Afghanistan but the most recent training is especially meaningful because public diplomacy was shared among civilians, soldiers, and Afghans in one day at one training.

People often think of soldiers as armed individuals who get out to kill but this is far from the truth. ... A great example is my colleague, Master Sgt. David Gillespie, a social media expert and an award winning photojou[rn]nal[is]t in United States. David kindly joined State Department to teach social media to Afghan reporters during the recent training." Image from article, with caption: Mahtab Farid, Public Diplomacy Officer

Panel: Pentagon Role Needed In Public Diplomacy - Adam Clayton Powell III, Newswire – CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "The Pentagon's role in public diplomacy was strongly endorsed by panelists at a Heritage Foundation forum here yesterday [December 2]. 'Influencing the enemy’s will to fight is as old as warfare,' argued Colonel Matt Venhaus of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. 'Sending teams out to embassies to support public diplomacy is one way we do that.' The Defense Department's huge advantage in funding over the State Department was also discussed. Citing a report released last month by the Center for International Media Assistance that was critical of DoD operations, Juliana Pilon, Director of the Center for the Study of Culture and Security at the Institute of World Politics was blunt: 'The State Dept has a piddling amount, and right now, the question is why is DoD doing all of these things and State isn’t?' she said. Instead, she argued, the question should be, 'What are the most effective ways of doing it?' ... Public diplomacy and its relationship with the U.S. military have changed dramatically, according to the panel, largely because of a shift in the nature of armed conflict. ... Instead of centralized enemies in past wars, the U.S. now faces decentralized groups of people who are not under central control. ... Panelists also noted the title of the afternoon's session, 'The Role of Psychological Operations in Strategic Communications,' was out of date. On June 21st, the Pentagon officially retired the term 'Psychological Operations' and replaced it with MISO - Military Information Support Operations."

Summit on Citizen Diplomacy - Anastasia Kolobrodova, A few weeks ago, I attended the U.S. Summit and Initiative For Global Citizen Diplomacy. I was happy to have the opportunity to go, thanks to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and feel that I learned quite a bit. ... [P]articularly interesting to me were the varying definitions of 'public diplomacy' that were used by speakers and participants at the conference. Several panelists from the U.S. Department of State appeared to define the ideal, two-way symmetrical form of public diplomacy as a way to communicate the US message to foreign publics, and to allow foreign public to comment on what the United States was saying. The Department of State felt that this comprised citizen diplomacy.

Other panelists specifically stated that citizen diplomacy was disparate from public diplomacy, stating firmly that 'public diplomacy is not citizen diplomacy.' Both the panelists from the Department of State and those stating that citizen diplomacy wasn’t public diplomacy surprised me. To me, public diplomacy can can range from government-to-citizen communication to NGO-citizen communication to citizen-to-citizen communication, and is about creating a dialogue to promote mutual understanding, rather than about trying to impart a specific message to a specific public." Image from article: Panel on new media and policy at the Summit for Citizen Diplomacy

Bicycle Ambassadors -

Torsten Jansen, Head of Public Diplomacy, Culture and Communication for the Danish Embassy in Washington DC. Image from article

Euronews Persian was suggested by Austrian ambassador to Iran because VOA "biased" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Climate change needs wider communication‎ - Wang Ke, "Rebecca Nadin, director of British Council Climate Change Program in China, told that telling the story of climate change, its causes and effects, and the ways in which people can contribute in the fight against it, remains a difficult task for any party involved, including the scientific community, governments, the media or NGOs. 'Efforts to communicate climate change in a simple, clear and persuasive manner have not been totally successful,' she said. ... She hopes experts in science, public diplomacy and communications and members of NGOs and the private sector can work together to achieve greater public understanding about the challenges of climate change. 'Public opinion on climate change should be well collected and analyzed,' she said. 'Through education and the efforts of media, we can let more and more people focus on climate changes.'"

Climate change communication forum - anuennwty, Youth Against Climate Change: Cool It: "Yesterday (3 December) Yiying and I attended a forum on communicating climate change at the Grand Velas Resort. Other than the really great food the forum brought in many distinguished speakers, including the man behind the idea – Simon Anholt.

'How to engage an indifferent public: the media and public diplomacy' by Simon Anholt discussed the need to fill in the missing gap in communication – the link between a difficult, slow, non media-friendly diplomatic channel and the factual perspective of a scientific channel – to better engage the public in this trans-boundary issue of unprecedented scale. He also spoke about the need for an international forum that discusses and analyses the means to leveraging the power of the 6 billion, as communication as isolated actions is highly ineffective given the nature of this problem." Image from article

Notes From Serbia: A Different Take On The Career Treadmill "The following is a guest post by Tijana Milosevic, a Belgrade-based freelance writer. Before returning to Serbia, Tijana received an MA degree from the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University in Washington DC and worked with various public diplomacy and international communications organizations in Washington. She currently lectures in media psychology and media research at Singidunum University for Media and Communications in Belgrade. Tijana was trained with the Radio Free Europe in Washington and BBC World in London[:] Coming from Serbia — a country of six million in Eastern Europe that once belonged to a larger, war-torn entity called socialist Yugoslavia — I wasn’t fully aware of the notion of 'career anxiety' when I came to Washington DC for my MA degree. Until one evening, that is, at the very onset of the school year.

A colleague of mine who was just turning twenty-seven raised his glass and voiced his fear: 'Twenty-seven: no serious job and no stable career track.' ... I also came to discover that what Americans often referred to as 'friends,' people from my region would prefer to call 'acquaintances.' The term 'friend' cannot be reserved for someone you meet once in a couple of months and do not know well enough to open up to. Those experiences bring to mind a memorable line from from 'Eat, Pray, Love,' a biographical story recently turned into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Julia Roberts: 'You Americans know entertainment but you do not know how to enjoy yourselves,' Roberts plays a successful thirty-something American who decides to embark on a soul-searching trip to Italy, India and Bally after realizing her job, husband and newly bought house are not what she really wanted from life." Milosevic image from article

Who Really is the Biggest Loser? - Taria, Tallk's Blog: A discussion of IC: "In class this week we talked a lot about reality television and how it has become a cross-cultural phenomenon. While we touched on it in class I do think that reality television has the potential to be a type of public diplomacy, but it also has the potential to be a detriment to new societies."

Wiki Power!? - Lauren B., Common Era: "If our public diplomacy over the past 10 years has been all about putting a more synchronized, 'real' image of the US out there, the recent leaks are going to be a huge hurdle,

that Mrs. Clinton and the folks at the state department are already struggling to overcome." Image from

Secret diplomacy and the death of the secret state - "Turkey's First World War, political and diplomatic activities conducted by the Committee of Union and Progress government secretly Wilson right not to recall how the way that it is not possible. If you do not want to live in the First World War and other disasters, not only all political and public diplomacy have to carry out the work clearly. So at first glance, perhaps everyone would say yes, why the need for this transparency obeyed? Why do some state affairs and diplomacy, especially in the privacy of understanding by most people be fulfilled? This is because the 'state' related to ascribe meaning. ... Public diplomacy, that is, a state activity, even in the 'we' and 'them' is an activity undertaken in the context of a more secret, and privacy shield bürünmesi seems to be acceptable."

Happy Hanukkah - criplomats: The Crippens, on their way to becoming diplomats: "This week was busy, but a lot of fun! On Wednesday, I went with a woman from the Public Diplomacy section to visit two primarily Arab schools about two and a half hours north of Tel Aviv. At the first school, I gave a presentation to one of the English classes about American holidays.

The kids there were Muslim and Druze, with a few Christians. The second school was a Bedouin school, and I talked about volunteering and social responsibility. The kids were amazing, and especially friendly and outgoing. ... Saturday night was the annual holiday party at the Ambassador’s house. John and I volunteered to tend bar, and we had a lot of fun. His house is amazing. The house overlooks the pool and the ocean, with a huge back yard. Everyone from the Embassy was invited; there were lots of kids there, along with Santa and his elf." Image from article with caption: Here's Arkansas!


After the Leaks, the Shakeup - Philip Shenon, Daily Beast: The Obama administration is planning a major reshuffling of diplomats, military officers, and intelligence operatives at U.S. embassies around the world out of concern that WikiLeaks has made it impossible—if not dangerous—for many of the Americans to remain in their current posts.

Image from article

The Big American Leak - Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: Fifty years ago, the world was shaped in a certain way, to promote certain values, because America had the leverage to shape it that way. We have been steadily losing that leverage because of our twin addictions to Middle East oil and Chinese credit — and the WikiLeaks show just what crow we have to eat because of that.

Afghanistan's propaganda war takes a new twist: Critics say that pictures of an Afghan girl disfigured by the Taliban are being used to justify the occupation. But can we just abandon women like Bibi Aisha to their fate?

- Andrew Anthony, Image and caption from article: Bibi Aisha, whose nose and ears were cut off by her Taliban-sympathising husband, pictured on the cover of Time magazine, 9 August 2010; and in California in October, with a prosthetic nose made by the Grossman Burn Centre

Ignoring the Propaganda - Lew Rockwell, The LRC Blog: "Writes Mike Cuneo: With all the outrage–which I find hilarious–over Wikileaks 'putting American lives at risk,' isn’t it strange that we haven’t heard one single person in the ruling class call for the troops to return home, where they are unquestionably safer? Oh wait, it really isn’t about troop safety but State safety, from resistance and truth. I almost forgot."

Scanners Gone Wild - Wyatt Mason, New York Times: If Europeans have been outspoken over Google’s program of surveillance-in-the-name-of-convenience, they have been less vocal when it comes to the full-body backscatter X-ray and millimeter-wave body scanners that began to appear in airports across Europe at the same time they did in America.

Of the English, Emerson said, “The motive and end to their trade is to guard the independence and privacy of their homes,” a statement that could now apply to Europe at large, whereas in America, it would seem, we have come to guard more urgently the independence and privacy of our bodies. Image from

'Too Good to Check': Google and the Chinese Propaganda Boss
- James Fallows, Atlantic: Several friends and sources in China have written in to say that one of the most vivid details in the new Google/China/Wikileaks saga sounds slightly too neat and convenient to be accepted as settled fact without further exploration. This is the report that Li Changchun, head of China's entire propaganda operation, searched for his own name -- 李长春 -- on Google; got mad when he saw some of the results; and thus set about trying to rid his country of this troublesome search engine.

World War II Movies – Propaganda and Patriotism - Carl DiNello,

1 comment:

Dumpster Dude said...

This is an unique Idea "putting mirrors on trash trucks to reflect the people who create the trash"