Culture is future » Territorial attractiveness and social cohesion

07.02.2013

International Influence

The Forum d’Avignon is proud to present this third compilation of articles published in partnership with the Sciences Po School of Communication, around the theme “International Influence”.

Cultural outreach consists in promoting national cultural dissemination on an international scale. Globalization is the driving force behind this movement, which prompts democratization and intercultural exchanges. The international movement takes on a new scale: the information and communications technologies (ICTs) accelerate these exchanges and allow for greater access to a wide range of information.

That being said, the double-edged sword has been sharpened and points to the inevitable consequence of globalization: this movement is carried out to the detriment of national identity and cultural policies that are unique to each country. Furthermore, globalization accentuates divides between world players, setting aside emerging nations that nonetheless show great signs of entrepreneurship and innovation in their cultural outreach endeavors.

International influence is one of the guiding forces of a nation’s foreign policy, yet will these international figures be able to defend the cultural practices that were at the heart of blossoming and enriching world exchanges, well before they were put into question?  

Crowd & Soft Power : Hollywood vs Bollywood and Nollywood

Historically associated with Hollywood and its role in American soft power, cinema represents a powerful medium regarding cultural influence. If Hollywood still dominates the international film scene, other industries have a very important influence in local areas : Indian Bollywood and Nigerian Nollywood. Based on figures and historical analysis, this file compares the frameworks, medias and audiences of these two little-known industries that are strikingly unique.

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Can India's booming cultural influence impose itself on an international scale? Case study: the Bollywood industry 

With 1.2 billion people and 20 million expats around the world, India  has a major advantage : demographic weight. In a world where culture is dematerialized limitlessly, does this weight allow India to usurp the role of countries that have already institutionalized their cultural influence, as is first and foremost the case of the United States? By focusing on the Bollywood industry, this file questions the definition of cultural influence : it depends not on the masses but much more on the existence of shared cultural codes.

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The future of Institutes for cultural outreach: an example of the power of cooperation?

What is the reach of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC)? On a national scale: to promote the country’s unique identity – principally defined by its language; on a global scale: to help integrate the EU member-states into the intercultural soft power network weaved by the international institution. Torn between this multi-tiered mission, how do the EUNIC maintain their legitimacy, while being additionally put to the test by new cultural practices instilled by ICTs?  

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What are the challenges imposed by current foreign policy and how are France and Germany responding to them?

How do Institutes for Culture answer to the new world order ? France and Germany, both driven by their will to promote their culture abroad, are nonetheless guided by different missions. Germany focuses on intercultural democratization; France keeps a firm grip on its exception culturelle. However, a new reality comes to play for the French and German institutes: how do these organizations pursue their cultural outreach programs in response to globalization, all the while redefining their mission in a restricted budgetary context? This file shows that unfortunately, innovation is not the name of the game. 

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