Mona Deeley (Founding Director, Zenith Foundation)

25.08.2011 - Interview conducted by Adel Raslan

Q. How relevant do you think the arts are as a form of cultural diplomacy?

A. I think it is essential to cultural diplomacy. If cultural diplomacy is defined in such a way that it is creating a space for true cultural artistic dialogue rather than trying to impose any narratives or directives on it.

Q. What is your opinion on the role that CD/art plays in international relations? Can it be a useful tool?

A. Yeah, I think cultural diplomacy if conducted in a way that is seen to be exporting something to someone else might backfire as it can be seen as condescending or prejudice and so on.. so it really has to be open for a true and free cultural dialogue and I believe that the arts/Culture lend themselves very well as their inclinations are internationalist as they can involve themselves in an international cultural dialogue that takes on other art forms from other countries as a result of the mutuality of ideas rather than political boundaries.