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History of US Cultural Diplomacy to Cold War Diplomacy and Culture CULP 420 Prof. Cynthia P. Schneider Thomas Jefferson • You see I am an enthusiast on the subject of the arts. But it is an enthusiasm of which I am not ashamed, as its object is to improve the taste of my countrymen, to increase their reputation, to reconcile to them the respect of the world and procure them its praise. • Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Paris, September 20, 1785 Public Diplomacy/ Cultural Diplomacy • Public Diplomacy: How a Nation Explains Itself to the World • Cultural Diplomacy …the use of ideas, information, art and other aspects of culture to understand peoples and and countries and to foster mutual understanding between them.“ Traditional and “New “ Public Diplomacy • ..”the transparent means • Global environment, by which a sovereign not just state to country communicates state with publics in other countries aimed at • Multiple actors – informing and influencing NGOs, regional audiences overseas for the actors, commercial, purpose of promoting the individual artists national interest and advancing its foreign policy • People to people goals. through new media http://uscpublicdiplomacy.org/index.php/about/ what_is_pd and other means PR vs PD • “The missing ingredient in American public diplomacy between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the September 11th attacks was not advertising cleverness. It was a firm commitment by the American people and the American leadership to all the painstaking work required to build lasting relationships overseas and advance our visions of fairness and opportunity.”[i] [i] Richard Lugar, “Opening Statement on Public Diplomacy and Islam”, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Press Release, 27 February 2003, p.2. Effective Cultural Diplomacy: • 2 way street, sensitive to interests of host country • Increases understanding on both sides • Offers pleasure, information or expertise in a spirit of exchange and mutual respect • Provides an added dimension to the official presence (can help to maintain relations in times of political tension) • Forms part of a long term relationship and cultivation of ties • Creative, flexible, and opportunistic. Gospel at the Cairo Sufi Festival Effective Cultural Diplomacy Should Not: • Try to ‘sell’ a country, region, or culture • Be used as ‘Rapid Response’ – “Every time there is a crisis, you open a library” • Assume that target shares your values, aspirations, and assumptions – US Public Diplomacy’s “Shared Values” strategy Cultural Diplomacy in Post 9/11 World • “Nor can it seriously be argued—as some have—that these tools of U.S. foreign policy are no longer needed now that the Cold War is over and America no longer faces major threats . . . far from being on the verge of a new order, the world has entered a period of great disorder. In facing these new dangers, a re-examination of old priorities is needed. Cultural diplomacy, in the widest sense, has increased in importance, whereas traditional diplomacy and military power . . . are of limited use in coping with most of these dangers.” Walter Laqueur, “Save Public Diplomacy”, Foreign Affairs, 1994, vol.93, p.20 Sources of Power • America remains the universal nation, the country people across the world believe should speak for universal values….The belief that America is different is its ultimate source of strength. If we mobilize all our awesome power and lose this one, we will have hegemony…..but will it be worth having? Fareed Zakaria Newsweek October 2002 Soft Power • Persuasion • “Shape the preferences of others” • Lead by Example • “Attractive Power” • Need to Walk the Walk • Loss of soft power position through Vietnam War, CIA intervention in Latin America, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Shortcomings of Soft Power Approach • Too U.S. based • Doesn’t focus enough on local context and adaptability • Doesn’t recognize adequately power of culture and media, especially popular culture Interrelationship between Soft and Hard Power • Stalin, “How many divisions does the Pope have?” • Pope Paul influence on Poland; art exhibition and Solidarity • “War on Terror” at same time as seeking to build understanding • We need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate. Admiral Mike Mullen, August 2009 20th Century Diplomacy 21st Century Cultural Diplomacy 21st Century Diplomacy • 24 hour news cycle; Youtube reports the news • Facebook and Twitter help organize political events • People to people connections break geographical boundaries • Information cannot be controlled by governments • Private and NGO sectors important players in international affairs and diplomacy Why Didn’t the CIA Know (About Egyptian Revolution)? Who Knew? • The Artists Knew • The Bloggers Knew • Yacoubian Building Novel and Film • “ We are all Khaled Said” • Microphone film (underground music in Alexandria) Buffalo Bill: American Achilles • British press dubbed William Cody “this American Achilles of the cowboy Iliad” and praised the Show for its authentic reproduction of “the actual frontier life.” • William Cody, Sitting Bull, Annie Oakley Queen Victoria and the Wild West • 1887 Queen’s Jubilee – Queen Victoria stands when American flag paraded on horseback • “All present were constrained to feel that here was an outward and visible sign of the extinction of that mutual prejudice, amounting sometimes almost to race hatred that had severed the two nations from the time of Washington and George the Third to the present day. We felt that the hatchet was buried at last and the Wild West had been at the funeral.” Bill Cody Public v Private • While European countries set up state run entities such as Alliance Francaise, Dante Alighieri Society, the US depended on the private sector • Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and blackface “minstrels” Missionaries and Education • Founding of American Universities in Middle East – Beirut, Cairo, Aleppo (secondary school) • Began as missionary school and then developed into American Universities in second half of 19th century History of Cultural Diplomacy • Originated in response to perception of threat – Nazi Germany’s cultural offensive in Latin America in 1930s • 1936 US proposed Convention for the Promotion of Inter-American Cultural Relations – Exchanges of students and professors – Closer relationship between “unofficial organizations which influence public opinion” (soft power) Cultural Diplomacy Timeline • 1936 Buenos Aires Convention • 1938 Division of Cultural Relations established within State, expectation of private funds • 1946 Fulbright Act – use war surplus funds for academic and cultural exchanges • 1948 Smith-Mundt Act, United States Information and Cultural Exchange Act, “worldwide information, education, cultural exchange activities”. Prohibits “domestic propaganda” • 1953 USIA founded • 1961 Edward Murrow leads USIA; officially ends cover for CIA officers • 1999 USIA merged into State Department Key Characteristics of Buenos Aires Convention • Exchanges of people to strengthen cultural and intellectual relations • Exchanges should be reciprocal and should involve NGOs • BUT goal was to promote better relations with other countries and to improve US image • SO, culture for purpose of favorable foreign policy, and in response to perceived threat – Nazi incursion in South America Division of Cultural Relations, DOS • Founded in May 1938 • Response to perceived threat of spread of Nazism in Latin America • Expectation of private funding • Benefited from personal connections of Nelson Rockefeller • Personal connections key to early cultural diplomacy; ad hoc Early Cultural Programs • Nelson Rockefeller initiated exhibitions at MOMA of leading Latin American artists • US sent visual and performing arts to Latin American • High value on the arts in Latin America • Goal to combat Nazism Private Philanthropic Origins • Wealthy individuals, learned societies, and foundations funded education, research, artistic exchanges and international tours in 1920s and 1930s • Overlap between private and governmental roles; founding of private foundations • Extended to protection of art during World War II • Legacy of concept of cultural diplomacy as private, voluntary, self-sufficient, idealistic, but also associated with elite From News to Disney • US government sponsored news met with mixed reviews from South Americans – too one –sided (compare to al Hurrah) • Another approach Walt Disney’s tour of South America (see documentary El Grupo) to produce films such as Saludos Amigos Other Countries • Soviet Union increasingly emphasized cultural diplomacy (radio broadcasts) • Very closely linked to Soviet foreign policy • French, Germans, Soviets, Italians all have cultural institutions by 1933 Context for Cultural Diplomacy • Typically in response to perceived threat, beginning with Buenos Aires Convention of 1936 ( response to Nazi threat in South America) • Increase in cultural diplomacy in 1940s-70s in response to Soviet threat, struggle against communism for hearts and minds in Europe and Asia. • Not just sending US culture, but supporting theirs – underground authors in Soviet Union • “War Against Terror” is unusual in that hasn’t been accompanied by surge of cultural diplomacy Challenges: Culture in the Service of Diplomacy • How to balance values promoted through public/cultural diplomacy and official policy? • Is the USG a credible messenger? “Official” vs. “offline” public diplomacy • Is the role of cultural diplomacy to promote culture or to promote understanding of a country through culture, or both? • Ambivalence in U.S. about importance, value of culture • Information vs. Education • Propaganda vs. Public Diplomacy • What is typically “American”? Where Does Cultural Diplomacy Belong? • Informal beginnings, based significantly on personal relations • Ambivalence about separate entity for public/cultural diplomacy • 1953 USIA founded; 1999 closed and folded into State • British Council, Maison Française model • Pros and cons of locating cultural diplomacy in State Department “Present at the Take Off..” • Aug. 1943 DOS announces American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas – Chaired by Justice Roberts – Formed after consultation with Joint Chiefs 1946 Art Exhibits • “American Industry Sponsors Art” -- collections of American corporations. Traveled to Europe and Egypt • “Advancing American Art” exhibition of modern art purchased by State Department • Very controversial. State sold art. Characteristic phenomenon – negative government (establishment) reaction to modern art • Truman “If that is art, I’m a Hottentot ”. (Opinion fortified by regular visits to National Gallery to see Old Masters) Conflict Over What Is American • Conservative voices in Congress denounce modern and abstract art as subversive and anti-American. Shouldn’t waste tax dollars on it. • Advancing American Art halted, sold • Congressman Dondero predecessor to Jesse Helms • Justification for CIA funding of private art exhibitions. Great art always has required enlightened patrons; rarely endorsed by masses Abstract Art and American Values • In contrast to Congressional disapproval, museum experts and art critics promoted abstract art as American -- freedom of expression, antithesis to Soviet Union • Jackson Pollock -- suicidal, abusive alcoholic is unlikely poster child. From Wyoming, rugged individual, new version of western myth Artists as Standard Bearers for Liberty • President Eisenhower, “Freedom in the Arts”, 25th anniversary address, MOMA, “As long as artists are at liberty to feel with high personal intensity, as long as our artists are free to create with sincerity and conviction, there will be healthy controversy and progress in art….How different is tyranny. When artists are made the slaves and the tools of the state….” From the Artists’ Perspectives • Some more pro-American and anti- communist than others • Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors –against threats to culture from political movements, anti-Communist (Rothko, Gottlieb) • More apolitical -- de Kooning (drawing a nude, not Holland), Pollock George Kennan, 1955 • “The totalitarians recognize that only if they appeared outwardly to enjoy the confidence and enthusiasm of the artists could they plausibly claim to have created a hopeful and creditable civilization… and I find it sad that they should have come to this appreciation so much sooner than many of our own people.” “Books are weapons” • “..for a war of ideas can no more be won without books than a naval war can be won without ships. Books, like ships, have the toughest armor, the longest cruising range, and mount the most powerful guns. • Through books we have come to understand better the kind of war we must fight and the kind of peace we must establish”. • President Franklin d. Roosevelt to W.W. Norton, Chairman of the Council on Books in Wartime, 1942 Writers visiting Soviet Union • “ What I sensed they got out of visiting American writers was, to them, our spectacular freedom to speak our minds. I mean, there we were, official representatives of the U.S – sort of the equivalent of their Writers Union apparatchiks – who had no party line at all..and who had the writers’ tendency to speak out on controversial issues… In other words, the exchanges enabled Soviet writers, intellectuals, students et al. to see that that the “free world” wasn’t just political cant”. Literature: Universal Language • Amy Tan Joy Luck Club resonance with young Arab and Palestinian women • Amy Tan, “Without deliberately delivering a message, it is possible through the serendipity of art to create something that resonates with people.” • The 99 – comic books with Islamic superheroes • http://www.the99.org/downloads/comics/4 2/ CIA and Culture • Congress for Cultural Freedom • Budget for 1966 $2 million • Journals published Encounter • Involved leading universities, scholars and Secretaries of State (Arthur Schlesinger, Isaiah Berlin, George Kennan) Congress for Cultural Freedom • Berlin 1950 – Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., British historian Hugh Trevor-Roper, Andre Malraux, and many other intellectual and artistic figures from US and Europe • Manifesto of freedom and liberty • Suspicions about funding and unease about propagandistic tone Encounter • June 1953 began publishing out of London • Irving Kristol, tensions with Josselyn and co- editor Spender; 1966 published letter in NYT saying he knew nothing of “indirect benefaction”, in response to NYT allegations re: Encounter • Challenge of intellectual journal with political motive • April 1967 Ramparts discloses CIA funding • Stephen Spender resigns, others disavow The Real Ambassadors • The State Department has discovered jazz. • It reaches folks like nothing ever has. • Like when they feel that jazzy rhythm, • They know we’re really with ‘em. • That’s what we call cultural exchange. • No commodity quite so strange • As this thing called cultural exchange Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy Gillespie • Dizzy Gillespie, “I sort’ve liked the idea of representing America, but I wasn’t going to apologize for the racist policies of America. Refused official briefing, “I’ve got three hundred years of briefing. I know what they’ve done to us, and I’m not making any excuses. “ Traditional Cultural Diplomacy: Jazz Ambassadors Jazz and Racism • In France where jazz really appreciated, identification with African Americans • Could love jazz and still be very critical of America • Implications of African Americans touring during Jim Crow era • Impact on domestic legislation Self-Criticism and Power of Dissent • Twelve Angry Men Czech communist government intended it to show negative side of America, but valued by intellectuals for self-criticism • Huckleberry Finn -- before and after the fall of communism • Dizzy Gillespie “Don’t tell me what to say about America” • Ozomatli on tour in Egypt in 2007 • Policy in Afghanistan towards independent media Cultural Diplomacy Then and Now Smithsonian Jazz in Egypt North Sea Jazz Jam Session • Residence of US Embassy, July 2000 Rock N’ Roll and Freedom • Havel, “Music is the enemy of totalitarianism”. • B-92 radio station in Belgrade playing Public Enemy, “Our freedom of speech is freedom or death-- we got to fight the powers that be.” • Andras Simonyi, rock n’ roll and freedom in Hungary “Present at the Take Off..” • Aug. 1943 DOS announces American Commission for the Protection and Salvage of Artistic and Historic Monuments in War Areas – Chaired by Justice Roberts – Formed after consultation with Joint Chiefs General Eisenhower, Dec. 29, 1943, Naples, Italy “Today we are fighting in a country which has contributed a great deal to our cultural inheritance, a country rich in monuments which by their creation helped and now in their old age illustrate the growth and civilization which is ours. It is a responsibility of higher commanders to determine the locations of historical monuments. We are bound to respect those monuments as far as war allows”. “Stuff Happens” Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on the looting following the fall of Bagdad, “The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, "My goodness, were there that many vases?" (Laughter.) "Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?’ “ http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2367. Press conference, April 11, 2003 Looted Treasures: Nazi Germany and Baghdad • Chief Justice Stone • AAMD (American advocates to FDR Association of Museum restitution of looted art Directors) and others treasures advocate to Pentagon to • Argues that US Forces protect treasures in should be prepared to museums and in protect art upon entry archeological sites. into Germany Advice ignored • 1943 State forms • One of first images from American Commission Baghdad: museums for Protection and looted, oil ministry Salvage of Artistic and protected Historic Monuments in War Areas Stacking the Deck for Cultural Preservation Decks of playing cards with images of archeological sites, plus texts about them, and about appropriate behavior around them distributed to U.S. Military – 1 deck per 4 On Site Historical Training for US Military • Organized by U.S. Central Command • Hosted by Dr. Zahi Hawass and Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities • Held at Saqqara, home to Step Pyramid, oldest standing stone structure in world • 37 attendees, from all branches of military • Recognition of historical importance of recognizing and preserving antiquities, and of economic importance of cultural Cultural Diplomacy Lessons of Iraq U.S. military, Saqqara, Egypt for training in strategic importance of recognizing and preserving antiquities Successful Cultural Diplomacy • Commission worked with War Department to plan for occupation of Germany • When Berlin was taken, military knew where to find stolen works of art • Majority were returned to owners…after • Very popular “blockbuster” exhibition of stolen masterpieces toured US • Generated good will at home and abroad Challenges: Culture in the Service of Diplomacy • How to balance values promoted through public/cultural diplomacy and official policy? • Is the USG a credible messenger? “Official” vs. “offline” public diplomacy • Where does cultural diplomacy belong – in Dept. of State, or at arm’s length, i.e. British Council? • Is the role of cultural diplomacy to promote culture or to promote understanding of a country through culture, or both? • Ambivalence in U.S. about importance, value of culture
"Cultural Diplomacy 1930s to Cold War"