New French Cultural Diplomacy InitiativesJuly 26, 2010
Daily Cultural Diplomacy News links to a Xinhua story on the reorganization of French cultural diplomacy. The Quai D’Orsay website has a translation of a piece by Bernard Kouchner in Le Figaro but if you want more detail there is a transcript of a press conference by Kouchner, the the minister of culture, Frederic Mitterand and the head of the new agency, Xavier Darcos (in French) here as well as speeches by Kouchner and Mitterand at a conference on cultural diplomacy entitled ‘France Listens to the World’. I’ve run the whole lot through Google Translate here.
A flavour of Kouchner’s comments are here
A reform was necessary because, how can we not see, culture and knowledge play an ever more decisive role in the global world? Do not hide the reality: there are now a battle of “soft power”. The major Western democracies as emerging powerhouses know: if they want to count in tomorrow’s world, they must be able to project their cultural content, to influence the agenda of ideas, promote their language, to attract future leaders in their schools and universities. They know that a great nation, as Hugo said, it is not only a strong army and vast territory, but also the ability to win hearts and spirits.
There are nearly 9,000 words here with quite a lot of detail about the structure and objectives of the new organization.