6 months ago

Diplomatic World_nummer 56.


BELGIAN CULTURAL WEEK IN HAVANA PROVES THAT CULTURAL DIPLOMACY CREATES SUSTAINABLE TIES Cultural diplomacy has always been an important pillar of diplomacy. This is no different between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of Cuba. The artistic projects between both countries flourish. The Belgian week which the Embassy of Belgium in Havana has been organizing in Cuba for the last 12 years serves as a catalyst for the cultural exchange between both countries. Every Belgian week in Cuba is different in spite of some recurrent activities such as the projection of Belgian movies. Innovation is a key element, not only in the content but also regarding the partners and location. How to achieve the program of a Belgian week? The program is the result of the demand and interest of our Cuban partners and the availability of the projects. The Embassy works with several institutional partners such as the Belgian regions and cities. The main role of the Embassy is the promotion of the different activities through a press conference, TV spots and social media. The Belgian week always takes place in Havana in November but sometimes an additional Belgian day is organized in Santiago de Cuba. The Cuban Embassy in 162 Semana Belga en Cuba, Havana, November 2017

Residence of the Belgian Ambassador, Havana © Patricia Mathieu Brussels organized in 2017 its cultural days in October, both in Brussels and Ghent. Logistically the organisation of cultural events in another city presents more of a challenge. The collection of the twelve posters of the Belgian weeks are an interesting testimony of the past activities. The design of these posters includes usually the colours of the Belgian flag; black, red and yellow. The contents of the posters refers to typical Belgian and Cuban elements. Cinema is a classic subject of the Belgian week and so are comic books. The 9th art not only is a strong holder of the Belgian week, comic books have turned out to be a very successful activity. The different workshops that Belgium organised in Havana, among others during the Belgian week, have trained young talented Cuban artists. Some of these artists now show and sell their work in Belgium and France. The Embassy of Belgium encourages the synergy between different art disciplines. For example: the cooperation between Belgium and Cuba with regards to architectural and art styles, are promoted by comic books. The conservation of our cultural heritage is a classic ingredient in our cultural relations. The cities of Brussels and Havana share a common interest in Art Nouveau. Workshops on Art Nouveau have gathered keen interest. The first stories on Havana were printed in Antwerp in the 16th century in Spanish, another common perspective. The Belgian comic Semana Belga en Cuba, Havana, November 2017 163