Cinematic Cultural Diplomacy in UNESCO's Orient Project 1957-1959

Main funder

Funds granted by main funder (€)

  • 99 120,00

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/01/2017

Project end date: 30/06/2020


My PhD dissertation explores how film can be utilised as a means of cultural diplomacy between the socio-culturally constructed conceptual binaries we call East and West. I return to the first decades of the Cold War when, like today, the political polarisations between East and West appeared centre stage in world politics, and the simplified cultural conceptions of national identities as static, homogenous entities were used to aggravate these tensions. I examine how in order to tackle this challenge UNESCO’s cultural diplomatic activity was launched in the 1950s, how the issue was debated and what kind of conceptual problems needed to be solved. I approach the topic by analysing Orient. A Survey of Films Produced in Countries of Arab and Asian Culture, a 1959 film catalogue published by UNESCO and the British Film Institute.

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Last updated on 2021-17-03 at 12:05