Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy affects the world each and every day.
North Korea is attempting to use tourism as its main public diplomacy tool, but its lack of credibility makes traveling there more a spectacle than an informing event.
On a deeper level, the failure of North Korea’s “tourism diplomacy” is rooted in the nation’s inability to understand the tastes of foreign publics. The time is gone when audiences were solely focused on the economic achievement of a foreign nation. From the top-class hotels to the brand-new tourist bus, North Korea had been wrestling to showcase the point to us throughout the trip. The current criteria is based on whether a society is free and just, or conversely, repressive and manipulative. Before returning to China, some North Korean soldiers deleted several photos taken by my friends. They may have thought this would be beneficial to their national image. But this censorship only alienated us. Further, the act itself was pointless. Before they were deleted, the photo had already been saved several copies in the computers we carried. [CPD Blog]
Speaking of North Korea, London’s Globe Theatre will bring a production of “Hamlet” to the hermit state in 2015, much to the chagrin of human rights groups.
London’s Globe Theatre has come under fire for its plans to stage a production of “Hamlet” in North Korea in 2015 as part of a two-year world tour that will bring the theater company to every country (205 to be exact) in the world. The decision though doesn’t sit well with at least one prominent human rights group. “North Korea is a country where the horrors inflicted on people who fall out of favour are worse than any fiction,” Amnesty International said in a statement emailed to U.S. News. “No tragic play can come close to the misery that 100,000 people trapped in the country’s prison camps endure, where torture, rape, starvation and execution are everyday occurances.” [U.S. News]
— Harley Mitchell (@Harley_Joel) March 12, 2014
This is not Nye’s point, but it is one worth considering within his piece: As publics become easier to reach while simultaneously more specifically cast, does public diplomacy become easier or more difficult?
Today, many identities are overlapping circles – affinities sustained by the Internet and cheap travel. Diasporas are now a mouse click away. Professional groups adhere to transnational standards. Activist groups, ranging from environmentalists to terrorists, also connect across borders. As a result, sovereignty is no longer as absolute and impenetrable as it once seemed. This is the reality that the UN General Assembly acknowledged when it recognized a responsibility to protect endangered people in sovereign states. [Project Syndicate via PDiN]
— Kevin McElligott (@kevinmcelligott) March 12, 2014
Pakistan utilizes five of its emerging artists in a cultural diplomacy exhibition in UAE.
Prime Minister’s special envoy, Ambassador Javed Malik, has said that Pakistani art, cultural heritage and rich traditions are excellent mediums to project Pakistan’s soft and positive image to the world.He was speaking as chief guest at a special art exhibition organized in the UAE, in which five emerging Pakistani artists displayed their art works, said a message received here Wednesday. Highlighting the importance of art and cultural diplomacy, Ambassador Javed Malik said in modern times the power of art as a tool for cultural diplomacy had become more relevant than ever before and could sometimes be even more effective than traditional forms of diplomacy in advancing a country’s foreign policy goals. [Associated Press of Pakistan]
— Amanda Rodriguez (@amandiux7) March 12, 2014
Interesting analysis on the benefits of China’s state-media proliferation in Africa.
In the case of CCTV Africa, the broadcaster may indeed be advancing the cause of pan-African coverage, seeing as it is the only TV station that airs a 90-minute daily news programme exclusively focused on Africa. Indeed, CCTV Africa has challenged BBC’s Focus Africa and Reuters’ Africa Journal with a suite of programmes such as Faces of Africa, a weekly features programme, and Talk Africa, a talk show often dominated by African thought leaders. In these respects, CCTV Africa may be doing what broadcasters such as the SABC and the Union of National Radio and Television Organisations of Africa tried to do in the past, but whose goals of going continental largely faltered. Knowing that CCTV Africa is on a public diplomacy mission would perhaps spur pan-African entities — the African Union for example — to roll out a similar effort. [BD Live via John Brown’s Public Diplomacy Press and Blog Review]
— USC Public Diplomacy (@PublicDiplomacy) March 12, 2014
— TWPolysci (@TWPolysci) March 12, 2014
photo credit: Chenzhou Gong via CPD Blog