Bitef side programme Bitef Library presented the book „Cultural Diplomacy: Arts, Festivals and Geopolitics“, edited by Milena Dragićević Šešić (with Lijljana Rogač Mijatović and Nina Mihaljinac)

The book is a result of a collaborative project between Creative Europe Desk Serbia and the Faculty of Dramatic Arts. Last October, together with Bitef, Desk organized international conference: Bitef and Cultural Diplomacy - Theatre and Geopolitics. The conference emphasised the importance of Bitef as a festival between the East and the West, as a cultural meeting point, through an exploration of Mira Trailović’s and Jovan Ćirilov’s activities which put Belgrade on the theatre and political map of the world.

The speakers at the promotion were Milena Dragićević Šešić, professor at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, Ivan Medenica, Bitef artistic director, and Dimitrije Tadić, Head of Creative Europe Desk Serbia.

The book contains the texts which deal with the key questions in cultural diplomacy (soft power) in the light of the new geopolitical relations: the culture of fear, humiliation and hope (Moïsi), exploring the importance of ideology and political activity that put culture to use. The contributors, from Great Britain to South Africa, Argentina and Turkey, write about the challenges of contemporary multi/unipolar situation, deepened on one side by the economic crisis and migrations, and by political populism on another. A number of works are about the role of the festivals in the processes and the possibilities for intercultural dialogue, for leading the so-called “bottom-up” cultural diplomacy.

The second part of the book brings the results of the expert “working desks” held on various topics (music, performing arts, literature, etc.) in April 2016, initiated by Creative Europe Desk Serbia. Apart from promoting this programme, Desk initiates wider role projects in the area of culture and international cooperation in Serbia. Those results are published in the chapter IV, while the chapter V brings an overview of the international cooperation of cultural organizations in Serbia (2010-2016).

The book is published in English.