[Announcement]Symposium “International Cultural Exchange in a Fragile World: Views from Germany, the UK, and Japan”
Joint Discussion by Japan Foundation, Goethe-Institut, and British Council

October 11, 2022

The Japan Foundation will co-organize an international symposium, “International Cultural Exchange in a Fragile World: Views from Germany, the UK, and Japan,” with the Goethe-Institut Tokyo and the British Council, on Thursday, October 27, in Iwasaki Koyata Memorial Hall, The International House of Japan.

As the pandemic and war have thrown the world into total uncertainty, what kind of role can/should be played by international cultural exchange? Representatives from cultural organizations from Germany, the UK and Japan, as well as a number of cultural leaders in Japan, will discuss possible directions for future cultural-exchange activities. Who should be the key players and partners in cultural exchange and how should they be engaged? What are the optimal ways to have diverse voices represented in cultural-exchange activities? Were there any positive lessons to be drawn from digital-driven challenges during the pandemic? How can cultural exchange empower local citizens and communities? Through these questions and the discussions that follow, we hope to identify a few key concepts that could symbolize international cultural-exchange activities in a post-pandemic world.

In the first session, three representatives of international cultural organizations, Amb. UMEMOTO Kazuyoshi, President of the Japan Foundation, Dr. Carola Lentz, President of the Goethe-Institut, and Mr. Matthew Knowles, Director of the British Council Japan, will gather to discuss the agendas international cultural exchange is facing in this fragile world. Moderating the discussions will be Mr. Jonathan McClory, a strategy consultant specializing in soft power, public diplomacy, and cultural relations, also known for his recent report "Socially Distanced Diplomacy: The future of soft power and public diplomacy in a fragile world,” which analyzes challenges and opportunities brought to public diplomacy, cultural relations, and global engagement by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second session will cast a light on cultural practitioners from the fields of art, education, and social inclusion. We will have Ms. NAKAMURA Akane, who has pioneered international projects in the field of contemporary performing arts, Prof. FUJI Hiroshi, a contemporary artist and at the same time an educator who has been active at the interface between social issues and arts, and Ms. MORI Mariko, who has recently been involved in art projects from the perspective of diversity, to discuss issues and prospects emerging through their practices, as well as to introduce the prospects for the future of cultural exchange.

We believe that this symposium will be an arena for cultural leaders and practitioners to reimagine how they engage with the world in these uncertain times.

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