The Future of International Cultural Relations Conference 2016

Discussing the future role of culture in international relations at a time of rapid change.

We held a conference in January with partners from Scotland, the UK and Germany to discuss the future role of culture in international relations at a time of rapid change.

The conference brought together politicians, academics and practitioners in a day long event followed by a public lecture by Professor Hanns Maull titled: Germany, the last multilateralist?

The range of participants included representatives of the Federal Foreign Office, the Goethe Institut, IfA, academics, the Scottish Government, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Council.

The aim of the [...]

Read more

Seminário de Cooperação Internacional, Instituto Camões, Lisbon

CCR presents work at annual conference of ambassadors and heads of service in Lisbon.

We were honoured to be invited by Prof. Doutora Ana Paula Laborinho, President of the Instituto Camões, to present our work in Lisbon at the annual conference of ambassadors and heads of service involved in international development and cultural relations.

The conference, which takes place each year at this time, was the first since the elections of October 2015. The theme was international cooperation and the challenges Portugal faces in its international relations, development and cultural diplomacy at a time of fiscal restraint with much smaller budgets to support activity.


Read more

Digitalisation and Scotland’s International Engagement

How do the policies for internationalisation and digitalisation relate to each other?

In March 2015, the Scottish Government published its International Policy Statement. The Statement, quite rightly, referenced digital connectivity as an important element of its approach to internationalisation, in terms of attracting investment and helping businesses engage with global markets. The Statement cited the Government’s vision of Scotland’s digital future: Digital Scotland 2020: Achieving World Class Digital Infrastructure (2012).

On 10 December 2015, the Deloittes report The Economic and Social Impacts of Enhanced Digitalisation in Scotland, was welcomed by the Deputy First Minister. The report confirms the view of the economic [...]

Read more

The Netherlands International Visitor Programme

Engaging with policy makers, academics and cultural figures in the Netherlands.

I was very pleased to be invited to participate in the International Visitor Programme run by Dutch Culture, which aims to provide an opportunity to engage with policy makers, academics and cultural figures in the Netherlands.

The visit highlighted for me the value of a systematic approach to the development of contacts and networks through such a tailored programme which allowed fact-finding and exchange of information and views. It also introduced multiple perspectives and facilitated the development of what I hope will be an ongoing dialogue with colleagues in the [...]

Read more

Digital Life

Doctoral students from across the University participate in Rapid Reflection Construction event.

The event was organised by the CCR for the Scottish Government. The purpose of the event was to develop big picture thinking on digital life which would be used by Ministers and others to inform policy development.

The discussion touched on a huge range of topics. The focus was on (in)security, personal, societal and cultural in the digital space. It went much wider, however, including insights from economics and business; law; sociology and informatics. Coincidentally, the session took place on the day when Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, gave [...]

Read more

Exploring the (In)security Consequences of Digital Life

CCR hosts Rapid Reflection Construction event with the Strategic Assessment team of the Scottish Government.

We will soon live in a world in which for the first time in human history all people and all things will be connected through cyber technology. The “internet of everything” represents a fundamental shift in the national and international landscape with significant social, economic, political and legal implications. This technological change is characterised by exponential developments which makes it one of the most interesting and urgent issues of our time.

Many conversations drill into the depths of specific issues. Few efforts however focus on understanding ‘the big picture,’ i.e. [...]

Read more

The Future for Sport, Cultural Relations and International Development

CCR and Academy of Sport present discussion on the role of sport in cultural relations and international development.

The event was hosted by the Scottish Football Museum, Hampden Park, the day after the Scotland-Germany football match, and it kicked off a series of events the Centre is planning for 2015-16 which will explore the unique contribution Germany makes to the theory and practice of international cultural relations.

It was particularly good to be able to welcome Humza Yousaf, MSP, the Minister for Europe and International Development in the Scottish Government, and other distinguished guests from Scotland and Germany including Stewart Regan, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Football [...]

Read more

The Hermeneutics of Suspicion

Dr Anthony Downey presents talk entitled “The Hermeneutics of Suspicion”.

Dr Downey is the Programme Director, for the MA in Contemporary Art programme at Sotheby’s. He has a particular interest in contemporary art’s potential to engage with and expand upon social and political issues. He is the author of Art and Politics Now (2014), and later this year he will publish Archival Dissonance: Contemporary Art and Contested Narratives in the Middle East.

The representation of conflict and its effect on cultural production is a global concern. The increasingly digitised substance of such images, in terms of both dissemination and reception, [...]

Read more

Art in EU-Middle East Cultural Relations

CCR takes part in workshop exploring new approaches to how EU countries can collaborate to develop a channel of artistic exchange with the Middle East.

The approach was developed by Arts Cabinet, a small, independent arts organisation from Edinburgh, whose Artistic Director, Svetlana Sequeira Costa, has built what all present saw as a completely new form of partnership, involving artists, art organisations, higher education institutions and EU National Institutes of Culture.

The workshop involved Edinburgh College of Art, Goldsmiths College and Kings College, London (UK); the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Danish Cultural Institute (Denmark); the University of Agder (Norway); Res Artis (Netherlands); the Scottish Government; artists and curators from Iraq, Tunisia and [...]

Read more

EU Strategy for Culture in External Relations

Stuart MacDonald, Executive Director of the CCR, presents research to the General Assembly of EUNIC in Madrid.

The research was completed for EUNIC Global as part of the Crossroads for Culture project.

The General Assembly was welcomed by the Spanish Minister of Education, Culture and Sport, José Ignacio Wert.

EUNIC is the network of the European National Institutes for Culture (British Council; Instituto Cervantes, Goethe Institut; Institut Français etc). It has 33 members from 27 countries and over 90 clusters based in different locations around the globe. EUNIC’s members work in over 150 countries with over 2,000 branches and thousands of local partners. They work in the [...]

Read more

Creating Sustainable Cultural Networks: a Workshop

CCR and GivRum present workshop on how cities develop international cultural networks.

The workshop is part of the City Link Festival. The Festival, which runs from 24th-27th September 2015, fosters transnational and interdisciplinary relationships across cities.

In 2015, City Link will connect the cultural communities of Edinburgh and Copenhagen. This year’s theme is ‘Democratic Renewal’, which will be explored through a diverse programme of symposia, workshops, exhibitions and performances.

It will involve artists, cultural organisations and academics in a conversation about how the short-term, multi-directional mobility offered by City Link and similar festivals creates connections, forms collaborations, and helps to [...]

Read more