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Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Chapter 4 explores the concept of practising peace though a deep investigation of one set of activities involving the use of mirroring movements. Cultivating empathy has been identified as one crucial element of building peace. As researchers have established, empathy is essential to the restructuring of relationships after violence. Mirroring is a well-established dance activity that is used in many settings and contexts, including theatre, dance therapy, dance education and community dance, and simple variations are included in some mainstream peacebuilding resources as icebreakers. As seen in the three case studies across cultures, peace must be practised, and the process of mirroring provides opportunities for this by inviting interpersonal exchange and the building of kinaesthetic, or felt, empathy, which provides avenues through which to see, understand and feel others across difference. In addition to the potential of empathy within peacebuilding, this chapter discusses the politics of empathy and its challenges in arts-based peacebuilding.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Chapter 1 makes the case for considering dance in relation to peacebuilding, based on an interrogation of existing research from across a range of fields of study. The chapter explores how growing interest and research in arts-based peacebuilding highlight the importance of utilising multiple pathways in the pursuit of peace. It also examines how, globally, dance and music are recognised as important facilitators of social cohesion and the creation and expression of culture. Recognising these components, the chapter considers theories and practices of dance and peacebuilding, including discussions of embodiment and empathy, among other key relevant concepts; this exploration provides a context for understanding how and where dance and peacebuilding meet. The chapter argues for the recognition of the importance of the role of dance in encouraging diverse forms of communication, in building relationships across difference, and in engaging the participation of diverse actors in local, national and international forums. Finally, the field is outlined by exploring a basic typology of six categories proposed to understand efforts at dance-based peacebuilding (therapeutic; artist-led social change or protest; community-led social change or protest; collective forms; educational; and diplomatic).

in Dancing through the dissonance
Abstract only
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

This chapter introduces the book’s main purpose: exploring the relationship between dance and peacebuilding in pluralist societies. It highlights instructive insights dance can provide when reflecting on existing theories and debates around peace and conflict. The research deepens the understanding of the roles the arts, and dance in particular, play in peacebuilding. Building on existing work in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Dance, as well as complementary areas of study such as anthropology, neuroscience and law, this chapter sets out how the book considers the work of a non-governmental organisation and its participants deploying dance for youth peacebuilding through case studies across three contexts – Colombia, the Philippines and the United States. These case studies include multiple delivery sites of the dance programme in different contexts of violence or conflict and varied approaches to peace. The introduction previews how investigating the application of a dance-based peacebuilding programme across these three case studies allows us to consider nuance and context, as well as commonalities across the locales.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Chapter 3 considers the creation and sharing of ‘hub dances’ – group dance exchange activities – across and between programme sites, to investigate what dance can tell us about local and/or global approaches to peacebuilding, including how the two are defined, interact or may co-constitute one another. It also examines the political ramifications of this co-creation and/or interchange. The hub dances aim to serve as a vehicle for cross-cultural moments of exchange and to provide opportunities for (re)creating identity in multiple ways that can support peacebuilding. At the same time, the use of hub dances also prompts further examination of the different cultural contexts in which conflict occurs and the tensions between the homogenisation of dance ideas paired with individual or group freedoms, and the possibilities of instilling stereotypes or being valued for difference. Likewise, the chapter considers the ways in which the creation, practice, and exchange of hub dances enacts meaning around the identities of self, others and the community, and how this relates to the creation of broader social change for peacebuilding across difference.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Lesley Pruitt and Erica Rose Jeffrey

Chapter 2 discusses the role of young people in peacebuilding and the ways in which dance plays a part in this process. Previous research has identified the importance and political significance of young people in peacebuilding. Simultaneously, international organisations such as the United Nations have made steps towards increasing the opportunities and support for young people in peacebuilding endeavours, locally and globally, including through the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security in 2015. Despite these efforts, and the extent to which youth are immersed in conflict both as recipients of violence and as perpetrators, young people remain on the sidelines of peace initiatives and are not sufficiently recognised and engaged in policy, theory or practice. The research conducted for this book suggests that dance can constitute an effective, inclusive pathway to support youth participation in peacebuilding, especially when incorporating elements of peer leadership. At the same time, the data gathered across the three case studies highlights the importance of including options for peace, reconciliation and social transformation that are age appropriate, gender sensitive, culturally relevant and flexible.

in Dancing through the dissonance
Carla Konta

This chapter builds on the expanding literature on the role of Cold War exhibitions in winning the ‘hearts and minds’ of the public worldwide. US participation in Yugoslav trade fairs was a matter of prestige for the organizers, a chance to improve economic relations and gain technological know-how. This chapter explores the role of exhibitions as public, cultural, and technopolitical diplomacy tools that functioned as ambassadors of the American dream, acts of bilateral political balancing, and platforms for prolific commercial trade. By analysing the most influential US exhibitions in Yugoslavia, from Atoms for Peace in 1955, to Industrial Design in 1970, the chapter argues that these left a compelling mark in the Yugoslav socioeconomic sphere, both for the establishment of Yugoslav grocery stores chains, as well as affirmation of Western-style consumerism. The chapter builds on Yugoslav periodical and newspaper records to examine Yugoslav reactions to the exhibitions. In the flow of previous scholarly studies, it examines the political values of images, commodities, and know-how that were used as Cold War cultural weapons by both American and Yugoslav leaders, Tito included.

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Carla Konta

Scholars working on public or cultural diplomacy more broadly usually focused on specific musicians, music genres, or forms of art. Although based on previous studies, this chapter aims to look at music and art diplomacy from the angle of channels – usually festivals – personalities, and cultural diplomacy content. Grounded on archival records, newspapers, and interviews, the chapter shows that, in Yugoslavia, American jazz was a cultural Cold War weapon, possessing connotations of improvisation and freedom. It argues, contrary to what Vučetić asserted, that those jazz performers arrived in Yugoslavia mostly through private, financially favourable, arrangements. On the other hand, the State Department prioritized classical arrangements, from symphony orchestras to ballet. Unlike other USIS programs, the US Cultural Presentation Program was considered politically neutral. Nevertheless, together with Voice of America, it contributed to popularizing American jazz. On the other hand, it is Voice of America that was perceived as highly problematic, dangerous propaganda by Yugoslav Party commissions. Followed by 46 to 70 per cent of all radio listeners, VOA successfully exploited its public diplomacy function by enticing behaviour that was breaking implicit rules of the Titoist regime and, therefore, perceived as encouraging freedom.

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Abstract only
Carla Konta

This chapter examines how Yugoslav reform policies, from the mid-1960s on, stemmed from Yugoslav leaders favouring decentralization and more economic freedom, as well as dissidents’ movements that brought critics of Yugoslav socialism into the Party and influenced public opinion. The chapter shows how the anti-LCY (League of Communists of Yugoslavia) movements were never openly supported by the US government, nor calling for the US and Western liberal democracies to be their inspiration; but they were asking for more pluralism in the Yugoslav political and cultural arena. This convinced US policymakers and field officers to consider these requests to be inspired by US public diplomatic policies, striving to influence the regime from outside to entice change from within. The chapter addresses the US connections of many Yugoslav dissidents, such as Croatian Savka Dabčević-Kučar, Praxis philosophers, and Mihajlo Mihajlov, but also the Serbian Liberals. The chapter acknowledges how the renewed Tito–Nixon partnership, due to the threat of the Brezhnev Doctrine, shifted Yugoslav concern about American influence and incentivized excellent economic and cultural cooperation in the 1970s.

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Abstract only
Carla Konta

This chapter synthesizes how US public diplomacy used soft skills in soft-power endeavours, and how the USIS mission flourished with reduced Yugoslav resistance to US influence, but only after accepting the American partnership that helped to stifle Soviet interference in the post-1948 assessment. The chapter analyses USIS interest in creating long-term networks, rather than undermining the Yugoslav dictatorship. Transnational connections with fellows and critical thinkers in the United States became crucial to Yugoslav dissident movements, as well as for the leadership involved in the Foreign Leader Program and other US exchange programs. The chapter also explains how Yugoslav experimentation with liberalization ended up being an oxymoron, and how US cultural penetration contributed to shaping that experiment. The chapter argues that mutual (dis)trust between the two partners over the decades resulted from their belonging to ideologically opposed factions; ultimately, this was overcome by pragmatism, realpolitik, and, to some extent, shared appreciation. The imposed, often arbitrary, limits to the American cultural agenda display both the Yugoslav regime’s invisible boundaries of coercion, and American keenness to overcome them.

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70
Abstract only
Carla Konta

The chapter starts by exploring the complex US–Yugoslav ties in the post-1948 era: Eisenhower’s plan of ‘keeping Tito afloat,’ American support of Yugoslav independence from the Soviets, and the hardly justifiable partnership (from an ideological point of view) with the United States. It examines how Yugoslavia’s turn to neutrality helped restore US-Yugoslav relations to a point of appeasement that would become crucial for US cultural affirmation in post-war Yugoslavia. In such a context, public diplomacy turns into a weapon of soft power aimed at ‘converting’ Yugoslav leaders to the West and enforcing cooperation with the United States. While resulting in asymmetrical reciprocity favouring the United States, US public diplomacy never stopped being a simplified transmission–reception process, but rather represented a complex account of negotiations in the political, cultural, and social arena.

in US public diplomacy in socialist Yugoslavia, 1950–70