Cultural diplomacy

  What does an article about cultural diplomacy have to do with a magazine for digital nomads and remote workers? When Raffi told me about the collaboration with Life in Armenia and asked me to write about this topic, I had the same question. But as I started writing, I connected the dots: Cultural diplomacy is a way to communicate to foreigners what our country is like and what kind of people we are. This can be helpful for those considering traveling to Armenia, as it can help them decide if it’s a good fit. It can also allow the local population to learn more about other cultures and people from other countries. These are defined with culturally packed activities in one’s backyard. They are concerts, expos, theatrical performances, and so many more artforms. Dialoguing For Understanding Between wars, we need time to rest, reflect, and rebuild. Cultural diplomacy, or the soft power of exchanging ideas, art, and language, can help us do just that. Significant cultural events can bring people out of their comfort zones and into dialogue, fostering cooperation and supporting peacebuilding. A practice that exists since forever and utilized by almost all nations around the world.

dancing

One of the highlights of my professional career was the multi-component event tailored around cultural dialogue in Yerevan, Syunik and other cities and villages in Armenia. I was happy to have had the chance to participate in the organization of Europe Day in Armenia 2023 last May, in close collaboration with Deem Communications’ team and other communications experts. The event brought together diplomatic missions from European member and non-member states and all other Europe-based and funded organizations operating in Armenia. It was a unique opportunity to celebrate European culture and values in Armenia and to foster dialogue and cooperation between people from different backgrounds. It showcased shared values, highlighted priority issues and offered engaging and entertaining activities for the local public to experience. From young children to the elderly and everything in between, the multi-faceted event provided something for all. 

Europe Day 2023

  These events allow for the media to generate relevant text and visuals that allow for the foreign delegations to then communicate with their own population be that in The Netherlands, Germany, Estonia or Spain. In return, the population of these countries learn more about the beauties of Armenia and hopefully begin to connect to its story, history and culture. Potentially travelers, remote workers and nomads know what to expect.   Seamless Delivery Event Management of such caliber requires a highly skilled team with experience and knowledge of all the risks involved. From technical to time management, stakeholders expect the event management to be flawless. This is where DeeM shines. With its 17 years in the field, they have organized several events, including Europe Day celebrations, Francophonie forums, Responsible Mining Conference, international concerts and expos. Lessons learnt and knowledge gained throughout the years allow for the team to manage a multitude of suppliers, volunteers and performers. They are able to coordinate public and media, participants and stakeholders. In this case, we delivered a seamless experience to the participants and a rewarding experience for the stakeholders. Armenia and the EU member states were able to build stronger relations through this cultural dialogue and diplomacy event.  Despite being landlocked, lacking some of the much needed resources for mass overseas travel, and not having enough exposure as a travel destination, Armenia must seize every opportunity to expand its cultural exposure. Cultural diplomacy events like the Europe Day was one such opportunity, with a variety of events taking place across the country. Below is the comprehensive list of activities conducted in just one week:
  • European Film Festival in Yerevan
  • Media outreach and Press conferences in Yerevan and Kapan cities
  • Public fair presenting Team Europe Initiative projects in and for Syunik
  • Open air rock concert by local band Red Line in Kapan city’s major square
  • Talks with Social Workers in Goris’ Impact Hub building
  • Ambassadors meeting with students at Goris State University to discuss available opportunities
  • European Young Ambassadors targeted events for youth across Armenia
  • Social media conversations

European film festival

We Do It With Care  We did more than just implement activities and events during Europe Day Armenia 2023; we did them with care. We made sure that there was ample participation from as many segments of the public as possible. We conceived of creative ways to engage attendees in meaningful conversations that touched their hearts, minds and spirits.

Europe Day 2023

  We cared for the details and created positive experiences for everyone. We wanted to foster communication, mutual understanding, and positive experiences for our stakeholders and the public alike. All of this creates new opportunities for civic development around the country, giving them food for thought and wider networks for real action.   Peace is built through mutual interests and interdependence, which renders violence and conflict obsolete. In my perception, for so many years, we have operated under the premise that we must reach end-of-conflict agreements before pursuing long-lasting alliances that rely on and build interdependence. I think it is high time to reconsider this axiomatic notion and to recognize that genuine cooperation is possible even before complete peace is achieved. Ultimately, peace comes down to shared values, healthy dialogue, leadership, and listening to the people’s choices. To maintain peace, we must foster dialogue, exchange, and cooperation. This is where cultural diplomacy comes in. Armenia gives me the fullest freedom to express myself and to make a meaningful contribution to its development. It is a country where I can truly be myself and make a difference   So, on a final note, I invite everyone to take part in cultural diplomacy activities in their communities to expand the dialogue and discover new opportunities that will undoubtedly lead to peace and a better future. In the case of Armenia, this will inevitably invite more travelers, remote workers and nomads.

cultural diplomacy

Tatevik Khoetsyan