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Soft Diplomacy

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In a world where international political relations are often dictated by a lumbering softly-softly approach, the power of cultural initiatives to forge more immediate and relatable links between countries cannot be underestimated. Creative innovators from the fields of Australian film, art, music and cuisine frequently find themselves at the cutting edge of diplomacy, their entrepreneurial efforts finding traction in the dynamic new cultural markets of Asia in exciting and unexpected ways.

Arts Centre Melbourne and AsiaLink co-host this look at who is leading the soft power agenda, what demographics Australians are influencing, and where the future for creative diplomacy initiatives is headed.

Moderator Doug Hall was one of the people behind Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art and is the former Australian Commissioner for the Venice Biennale. Making up the panel are Katelijn Verstraete, the regional director, arts and creative industries at the British Council East Asia, along with Parmesh Shahani, CEO of Godrej India Culture Lab, Kate Ben-Tovim (freelance creative producer who has worked with DFAT’s Oz Fest India, Arts Centre Melbourne and London Cultural Olympiad to name a few), and Rei Maeda (Art Front Gallery, Tokyo), who discusses the Fukutake House Asia Art Platform, Setouchi Triennale 2013.

Other leaders and pioneers from the realms of arts and business are among the audience, actively participating in this open and far-reaching discussion. Join them as we explore the future of international cross-cultural relations.

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