Image ©Erik Vlaeminck, 2017

Arts Cabinet presented in Moscow as a prime example of cultural relations

Erik Vlaeminck
The University of Edinburgh

On 27 April 2017, Erik Vlaeminck will present a paper in Moscow at the conference “Transformation of International Relations in XXI Century” at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

Erik’s paper titled “Culture in Times of Trouble: A Call for Reconceptualising EU-Russia Cultural Relations” addresses the ongoing tensions between the EU and Russia, following the Ukraine crisis and examines how this crisis affects cultural cooperation and dialogue between the two state actors. The paper seeks to reconceptualise the role of culture in order to revitalize the ties between the Russian Federation and the European Union.

Moving beyond the well-known practices of public and cultural diplomacy, new approaches for the role of culture within interstate relations are explored with particular attention being paid to the reconceptualization of cultural relations. Defined as ‘reciprocal, non-coercive transnational interactions between two or more cultures, encompassing a range of activities that are conducted both by state and non-state actors within the space of cultural and civil society’, cultural relations prioritize equality of (cultural) exchanges over one-way transfer of values and offer therefore sustainable and long-term perspectives when applied to inter state relations.

Arts Cabinet will be presented as a prime example and case study of how the concept of cultural relations can be materialized into ‘reality’.