Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4

"But above all, museums and galleries are for me sources of sheer pleasure, little havens, and a bit of light in an increasingly crazy world."

--Bonnie Greer, "Our treasuries of the past will play a vital role in Britain’s future: Free museums are a beacon of culture and learning that shines abroad and online,"; image from article, with caption: Inside the British Museum: for our youngsters, museums and galleries have become repositories of light and magic and fun


USC Center on Public Diplomacy releases annual report


Sex, Lies (Propaganda?) and Video Tapes - Veena Malik and Public Diplomacy," John Brown, Notes and Essays (also see below in "Related Items"). Image from article


Ambassador to Bangladesh: Who Is Dan Mozena?‎ - AllGov: "The new U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh is a career diplomat who grew up milking cows on the family farm, and whose career has taken him primarily to rural countries in South Asia and Southern Africa.

Dan W. Mozena previously served at the embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs from 1998 to 2001. He was sworn in as Ambassador on November 17, 2011. ... From 1974 to 1976, Mozena and his wife, Grace, were Peace Corps Volunteers in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), helping farmers develop better ways to raise chickens. ... Mozena [served] as a Public Diplomacy Officer at the State Department’s Office of Strategic Nuclear Policy from 1985 to 1988." Mozena image from article

Israeli journalists are censoring themselves: Israeli journalism's dereliction of duty began long before now, and before we declare war on those outside who would do us harm, we should first look deep within‎ - Gideon Levy, Ha'aretz: "Hundreds of Israeli journalists will gather in Eilat today for their annual professional conference. They have little to be proud of. It's true that threats hang over this conference, the threat of politicians to injure journalistic freedom, the threat of the economic crisis to harm the media and the threat of technology to eliminate print journalism, but Israeli journalism's dereliction of duty began long before this frightening twilight hour. And what they face today is entirely their own fault. ... Israeli journalism censors itself

to the point of harm. Part of it has become a means of entertainment while inciting our more base passions. Part of it now appeals to emotions, not reason, and deals with trivial rather than important issues, taking part in the campaigns of denial and obfuscation. No one asked this of it, it did so on its own. It often turned propagandist, too. Journalism hasn't been conscripted. It signed up itself. The journalistic tom-toms were beating before the most recent wars, calling in unison for another ferocious assault. The media lined up in support of every war, offering no criticism. That came only afterward, when it was too late to repair the damage. Israeli journalists authorized nearly every transgression, and many forgot the difference between public diplomacy and journalism. ... Israeli journalism practices the religion of the military and sanctifies the ritual of death." Image from

Arab journalists hopeful for future after Arab Spring‎
- Sunday's Zaman: "Arab journalists who participated in the first Turk-Arab Media Forum, held this week in İstanbul, conveyed their hopes for the future of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) states, saying political, legal and economic systems in MENA face a far better future after the victory of Arab Spring movements. ... Kashram [correspondent from Al Jazeera Turkey, Omar Kashrama] greed with Salih [Al Ayam daily owner and Editor-in-Chief Mahgoup Mohamed Salih from Sudan]

in saying that Turkey established only government-to-government relations within MENA; it does not use public diplomacy channels -- which function to influence public opinion in other countries via visual and print media -- but recent movements in the Arab world have required Turkey to create these ties with Arab society in the end." Image from article, with caption: Journalists from all over the Middle East and North Africa gathered at the first Turk-Arab Media Forum, held in İstanbul from Nov. 30 to Dec. 1. The Turkish deputy prime minister was also present

VisitBritain on the move in Europe - Holger Lenz, "I am sure you will have already guessed by now that we have just moved offices here in Berlin! We are now co-located with the British Council on Alexanderplatz in the heart of the former Eastern part of the city. And we are not the only VisitBritain team

in Europe that has moved recently. Following our restructuring earlier this year the time was right for thinking about whether our office facilities were fit for purpose. Around the same time a new worldwide agreement with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office came into place encouraging other British government departments overseas to move into embassies and consulates wherever space allows this. As an alternative option the British Council (also funded by the Foreign & Commonwealth office) offered us the chance to co-locate with them. Overall this is a great opportunity for us to reduce our overhead costs and work much closer with our Public Diplomacy partners in the markets. ... Co-location with our Public Diplomacy partners happened at exactly the right time when we will be working with them very closely in all markets on the delivery the GREAT campaign which was launched by the Prime Minister in late September. This is, of course, not just a VisitBritain campaign but a co-ordinated approach by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UKTI, the British Council and us to speak with one voice to promote the UK in the run up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and beyond." Image from article

Is The Eurozone Crisis Changing EU-China Relations? – Analysis - Alicia Sorroza, "China is using the possibility of buying public debt as a tool of its public diplomacy."

China Radio International marks 70 years of English broadcasting - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Tsvangirai's perennial puberty violates public trust - The Zimbabwe Guardian: "Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s public denunciation of Lorcadia Tembo and the imputation that somehow she is a pawn used by state security agents to tarnish his image was a predictable follow-up to what appears to be a morality vacuum created by this story. ... While his politics is seemingly concerned about gender mainstreaming, Tsvangirai’s private life has somewhat been different with allegations of out-of-court settlements

for impregnating young, vulnerable women, and a string of other women whom he allegedly abandoned after sleeping with them. ...The prime minister’s spokesman declared, in response to The Herald newspaper’s questions on the prime minister’s marriage: 'If you can believe that my brother, it is the same as believing that former South African President Nelson Mandela is now 12-years-old' only to admit a day later, '… he will inform the nation at the appropriate time'. This is public diplomacy in tatters, and this one event might just irrevocably destroy his integrity." Tsvangirai/Tembo image from article

(Note: others items on Cultural Diplomacy appeared in PDPBR November 28-December 3)

‘The States should promote but not define our culture’ - "The States should be creating conditions that allow culture to flourish rather than trying to control or define it, the Island’s cultural development officer has said. Speaking after Jersey’s fourth annual Council for Culture Conference, Rod McLoughlin said that it was for the States to provide an environment that would benefit cultural development in the Island and not to control or influence what culture is.

The conference was held at Le Rocquier School recently and was attended by nearly 100 people. A range of topics were discussed, including a session on cultural diplomacy – the way arts and entertainment can help with establishing connections between different societies around the world. Image from article, with caption: Cultural development officer Rod McLoughlin

Glitzy New York Dinner Backs St. Pete's Hermitage - By Alexander Osipovich, The Moscow Times: "Both the Georgian wine and the charitable donations flowed freely at a recent fundraiser aimed at supporting the State Hermitage Museum and bringing the venerable St. Petersburg institution into the 21st century. Manhattan hedge fund managers, heirs of Russian nobility and former Soviet dissident artists mingled at the $1,000 a plate dinner earlier this month, eating seared tuna and politely listening to speeches on U.S.-Russian cultural diplomacy. The splashy dinner was the initiative of the Hermitage Museum Foundation, a New York-based charity bringing business know-how and an international cast of donors

to assist the museum as it expands and modernizes. ... 'Trying to place American art in the Hermitage is one of our goals,' Rodzianko said. ... The Hermitage’s expansion plans were a much-discussed topic at the fundraiser. Not everyone in St. Petersburg’s deeply conservative cultural establishment has welcomed the museum’s move into modern and contemporary art. But the sentiment among the crowd at Sotheby’s was distinctly supportive of Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky for leading the museum’s transformation. ... Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council ... stopped by the dinner on his way to Washington. In a speech at the fundraiser, Margelov stressed the importance of U.S.-Russian cultural exchanges." Image from article, with caption: Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Russian-born artists, were honored at the Hermitage event in New York this month.

China marches ahead with softly, softly plan - Rod Moran, The West Australian: "China's phenomenal economic rise in recent years has been accompanied by a big expansion of its military might but it may be in far more subtle ways that this rising giant is exerting its real influence on world affairs. ... This growth in Chinese hard-power will, in the long term, have profound implications for our region. Already, it has had the effect of many governments in South-East Asia cleaving closer to Washington, with military conflict in the South China Sea - over which China has asserted exclusive sovereignty - seen as highly probable. But China is also engaged in a carefully thought-out program of expanding its 'soft power' in the region. If hard military power is deployed to coerce other countries to a nation-state's ends, soft power is designed to attract and persuade. It can take the form of cultural exchanges, education programs, foreign aid, diplomacy, business promotions, and involvement in international organisations. The People's Daily, official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, reported late last year that Premier Wen Jiabao stressed the promotion of soft power - including 30-second commercials by concert pianist superstar Lang Lang and action movie actor Jackie Chan - to present an international image of Chinese 'prosperity, democracy, openness, peace and harmony'. The report emphasised the importance of the worldwide network of Confucius Institutes in cultural diplomacy, observing: 'Care, however, must be exercised in academic settings where some may charge that they are propaganda sources, not learning tools.'

China has established 500 such institutes internationally, including one which opened in Perth in 2005. ... If the Confucius Institute's activities here are a benign example of China's soft power, some strategic analysts are more pessimistic about its effects more broadly in South-East Asia and beyond. The US Council on Foreign Relations has pointed out that many authoritarian and developing nations are looking to China as a model for a non-democratic path to economic growth. Some of the African regimes China's soft power is nurturing are among the worst dictatorships on the continent. Unlike the US and other Western powers, China places no conditions on good governance where one of its major forms of soft power is concerned - foreign aid." Image from

News Ticker - "As part of ROC centennial celebrations and efforts to promote President Ma Ying-jeou’s cultural diplomacy approach, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has arranged for several Taiwanese hand puppetry troupes, including those from the Hsiao Hsi Yuan Puppet Theater, Lin Liu-Hsin Puppet Theatre Museum, and Happy Puppetry Company, to go on performance tours to five of the ROC’s diplomatic allies in the Pacific between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The troupes will stage traditional puppetry shows at performance halls, community centers and local schools in Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands, and Nauru, the ministry said."

Our treasuries of the past will play a vital role in Britain's future‎: Free museums are a beacon of culture and learning that shines abroad and online - Bonnie Greer, "Great Britain has three out of the five of the top museums in the world. Visitors from abroad to our free museums and galleries contribute more than £5 billion to our GDP and the 22 per cent rise in admissions in a decade means that there is a generation of children – of all ethnicities and circumstances – who will see museum-going as natural and important. Cultural diplomacy will become an even larger part of the UK’s role in our increasingly multi-polar world. The impact on foreign visitors of our culture, our story, will in future play a bigger part than it ever has. Museums and galleries will not only increasingly become representatives of British culture in far-flung parts of the world, but will be Britain itself to millions of people as they interface, not only in reality, but in cyberspace. An old and proud nation can demonstrate to a younger and younger world the value of the past, how it can renew the present, how it can see the future, and create a future that is humane and fearless. But above all, museums and galleries are for me sources of sheer pleasure, little havens, and a bit of light in an increasingly crazy world."

Arts, Culture, and Social Change Within the Arab Spring: Cynthia Schneider at Kunstnernes Hus - pRIO: "The wave of protests that has swept across the Middle East and North Africa has been characterized by unsurpassed levels of innovation. While much of the focus has been on the use of new media, we also see various forms of cultural expression at play, expressing political visions that blend the traditional with the forward looking. What role has arts – and artists – played in the protests? Should we expect the transition regimes to foster a new and different relationship to the cultural sphere?

What role could arts play - in healing the wounds from years of repression, in building new relationships, in inspiring change - as a new contract between state and society is being shaped? We invite you to a debate on how arts and culture impact social change in the Middle East. The seminar will take place in the context of the exhibition at KUNSTNERNES HUS, Composition for Two Wings by Akram Zaatari. Presentation by Cynthia P. Schneider, Georgetown University ​Comments by Jørgen Jensehaugen, Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU) ... Professor Cynthia P. Schneider teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy, with a focus on relations with the Muslim world."  Schneider image from

Malawi London embassy awarded by UK television‎ - Thom Khanje, Daily Times: "It may be entangled in a diplomatic row between Malawi and Britain but the Malawi High Commission in the United Kingdom has defied the odds to win award on diplomacy from Britain's Ben Television channel.

The channel, among other things focuses on African, Asian, the Caribbean and Pacific, to celebrate their achievements in the British community. The award was given to the mission at a ceremony that took in London on Friday, according a statement sent to Business Times by Malawi High Commission in London spokesperson Mercy Tahuna. She said the Diplomatic Award was given to the Malawi mission following its achievement in two categories of the award, including positive projection of Malawi's Image abroad and secondly Economic and Cultural Diplomacy." Image from

Finland and American intelligence: Secret history - "I thought readers might be interested in this interesting historical take ['Without Mercy' – U.S. Strategic Intelligence and Finland in the Cold War] on Finnish neutrality. It's by Jukka Rislakki, a Finnish author now based in Latvia. It won a prize in an American essay competition, but is not online anywhere, so I am posting it here. ... [Among the works cited in the article:]  Fields, Marek (2009) Winning Finnish Hearts and Minds – British and American Propaganda and Cultural Diplomacy in Finland, 1945─1962."


The farce of Russian elections - Editorial, Washington Post: With the elections approaching, Russian officials have been turning up the heat on Golos (Russian for “voice,”), an independent group of election monitors largely funded by U.S. and other Western groups.

Golos says that the funding, from the U.S. Agency for International Development as well as from the National Endowment for Democracy and the National Democratic Institute, allows it to be impartial. It has established a highly effective online collection center for thousands of complaints about campaign and electoral irregularities — including evidence of payments from officials in return for votes. The group fears, quite reasonably, that the authorities will try to impede its poll monitoring activities Sunday. Image from, with caption: Moscow office of Golos

'Jew-hate stems from conflict': US ambassador in Belgium provides controversial explanation for Muslim anti-Semitism - Menachem Gantz, Growing global anti-Semitism is linked to Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians, the American ambassador to Belgium told stunned Jewish conference attendants in Brussels earlier this week. Speaking Wednesday at a Jewish conference on anti-Semitism organized by the European Jewish Union (EJU,) Howard Gutman told participants he was apologizing in advance if his words are not to their liking. He then proceeded to make controversial statements about his views on Muslim anti-Semitism, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday. A distinction should be made between traditional anti-Semitism, which should be condemned and Muslim hatred for Jews, which stems from the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, Gutman said.

He also argued that an Israeli-Palestinian peace treaty will significantly diminish Muslim anti-Semitism. The conference was attended by Jewish lawyers from across Europe. The legal experts at the event were visibly stunned by Gutman’s words, and the next speaker offered a scathing rebuttal to the envoy’s remarks. “The modern Anti-Semite formally condemns Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust and expresses upmost sympathy with the Jewish people. He simply has created a new species, the “Anti-Zionist” or – even more sophisticated – the so-called ‘Israel critic,’” Germany attorney Nathan Gelbart said. Image from, with caption: Belgian Premiere Of 'The Smurfs' Movie. In this photo, Howard Gutman

Muslim Anti-Semitism, Israel, and the Dynamics of Self-Destructive Scapegoating - Richard Landes, Doc's Talk: Palestinian anti-Semites have produced the images – icons of hatred – that, through modern media, have spread the virus throughout the Muslim world. The violence that Israel does against the Palestinians – a fraction of the violence that Arab leaders do towards their own people with far less provocation – responds to Palestinian attacks inspired by anti-Semitc propaganda.

Because the Western mainstream news media (MSNM) has mainstreamed some of this propaganda (inexcusably but pervasively), many people – whose only data points are the TV images of terrible violence Israelis do to Palestinians, and TV images of Palestinian hatred – assume that the hatreds are at least in part justified. Image from article

Propaganda Against Islam - An Investigation Into The Role of Western Media - "Is the propaganda against Islam a reality or a myth? Is it something a new phenomenon or a continued campaign to blacken the name of Muslims and their religion? What role the western media plays to paint Islam as a radical religion? Are Muslims today perfect or whether they have equally damaged Islam due to internal divisions and their support for extremist ideologies? In this paper I will discuss these questions especially in relation to how the European and American media raises objections to contemporary Muslim thought. Although it would be unfair to blame one billion Muslims and put them all in the same category of radicalized muslims just because of the action of a few groups but I will, for the sake of academic discussion, make my case by providing the counter arguments and proofs that will show instances of biasness in the media reporting shown to world by the hawkish elements in the popular TV channels such as CNN, CBN, BBC, FOX NEWS, etc."

Who will rid us of hate channels such as Press TV? Ofcom is allowing an Iranian broadcaster to undermine our sense of broadcasting balance - Nick Cohen, The Broadcasting Code guarantees the fairness of television in Britain. It tells stations that they must display "due impartiality and due accuracy" and forbids them from giving "undue prominence" to their owners' favoured views. The regulator announced it had been amazed to discover that Press TV (London) is controlled from Tehran – who would have thought it? – and instructed it to amend its licence accordingly. It can impose punishments. Last week, Ofcom fined it £100,000 for broadcasting an interview with the Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari and forgetting to tell the viewers that his "confessions" had been obtained under duress in an

Iranian jail. But it will not revoke its broadcasting licence. Press TV is not just a home for those with exterminationist fantasies about wiping Israel off the map, but a platform for the full fascist conspiracy theory of supernatural Jewish power. Image from

BBC’s subtle anti-Iranian propaganda – Guilt by association on “honour killings”: UK police forces release ‘Honour’ attack numbers following a FOI request from “Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation. BBC then interviews Iranian victims. Top sources are Pakistan, India then Bangladesh. Iran not even mentioned in 2008 strategy

American Head-Basher Lands a Job in Bahrain - The U.S. has long exported money, weapons and propaganda know-how to foreign governments looking to contain their populations. Now the ruling Al-Khalifas

of Bahrain have hired former Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney, notorious for employing brutal tactics against American protesters, to assist in a crackdown against pro-democracy activists on their soil. Image from article, with caption: Tear gas drifts toward pro-democracy protesters in Bahrain in early November.

Commentators grumble about Al Jazeera. And its former DG admonishes journalists to "check facts" - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

Veena Malik full Story Indian and Malik's propaganda - Veena Malik who posed in the nude for an Indian magazine with the initials of Pakistan's intelligence agency on her arm has triggered fury across the nation. Veena Malik's photo on the website of FHM India, in advance of its publication in the magazine's December issue, has been lighting up social network website Facebook and Twitter

since earlier this week. Malik has broken Pakistani religious and national taboos in the past. She is a target for conservative and a heroine to some Pakistani liberals. Maulana Abdul Qawi declared on Aaj TV on Saturday that her latest venture into controversy was a "shame for all Muslims." Farzana Naz, interviewed by the same channel on the streets of Lahore, said that the actress had "bowed all us women in shame." Image from. See also John Brown, "Public Diplomacy Goes 'Pubic,'" (2007) CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

China web users criticize new state TV boss - Thousands of Chinese web users on Sunday lashed out at the new head of the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) network over a speech in which he said journalists were "propaganda workers." Hu Zhanfan — who was appointed to the top post at CCTV in November — said in May that journalists who defined themselves as "professionals" rather than "propaganda workers" were making a "fundamental mistake about identity."

Graffiti of Venezuela - Art Or Propaganda?
- Among the images the below:

Japanese Subway Propaganda - Among the images: Three annoying

train monsters (October 1982) – The three annoying train monsters shown in the poster are Nesshii (the sleeping monster), Asshii (the leg-crossing monster), and Shinbunshii (the newspaper-reading monster).

1 comment:

Site Administrator said...

A cool & informative post.