The British Council and ifa (Institut für Auslandbeziehungen) organized a meeting in London, on the 18th and 19th of November, to discuss the first global network-meeting on the Research Alliance for International Cultural Relations, under the heading:

“International cultural relations – old purposes, new challenges, opportunities for knowledge exchange and cooperation”

The Alliance gathers 28 researchers and cultural producers from the 5 continents and specialized teams of the British Council and ifa.

Silvia Finguerut, cultural projects coordinator at FGV, in Rio de Janeiro, was invited by ifa to represent Brazil together with other Brazilian researchers. The main theme discussed was the role of soft power, nation branding and cultural diplomacy that institutions are willing to reinforce all over the world.

The meeting was opened by Sir Ciarán Devane, CEO of the British Council and Ronald Grätz, ifa’s Secretary General.

The event had speeches from representatives of East Asia, South America, South Asia, Africa and Europe. All presented the state of art of international cultural relations in their continents and presented different perspectives on world scale. The group then discussed research and practice themes, as well as, policy engagement and respective challenges.

Mr. Paulo Brummell, head of soft power and external affairs at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office was the keynote speaker at the end of the working day.

The second day was dedicated to multilateralism in International cultural relations and how the present institutions could collaborate with an online platform dedicated to International cultural relations, headed by ifa, an institution with headquarters in Stuttgart owner of the largest library dedicated to cultural relations, with 440 thousand books.