Chinese-English No.1 2017 2017-03-06
Seven Confucius Institute directors from six countries including Austria, Brazil and Germany gave speeches at the forum. With the main cultural projects launched in 2016 as examples, they analyzed how to organize cultural programs and how to find partners, as well as the difficulties and challenges that they face, and the corresponding solutions, while sharing their techniques and experience related to the planning and organization of cultural programs.
1.Determining goals and target audience
Luis Antonio Paulino, Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Estadual Paulista, Brazil, using the example of “contemporary Chinese film festivals”, tells about the steps of planning and holding a film festival, emphasizing the importance of having a target audience in mind during film selection, and of understanding what the target audience knows and wishes to know about China, and suggesting that the organizers collect feedback from the audience. Yulia Mylnikova, Director of the Confucius Institute at St. PetersburgState University, Russia, introduces the exhibition “Stepping Out of the Peony Pavilion: Contemporary Art of Chinese Women”, specifying that the exhibition is to focus on art related to females in contemporary China, and provides much related information, including descriptions of the artists and the meanings of their works, using methods such as images, advertisements, posters and websites to help the audience understand it.
2. Finding a suitable partner and utilizing the partner’s experience and resources.
Ma Xiaojie, Assistant Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, US, tells that their Institute hosts the “Silver Screen Chinese Biennial Exhibition” three times in a row, in collaboration with organizations such as the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, UCLA Film Archive and CalArts Theater. The event has received great amounts of specialized guidance and resource, and has expanded its scope through its branded projects. In addition, the event now spans the three cities of Los Angeles, New York and Washington, and has collaborated successfully with Confucius Institutes in many other cities.
3. Innovative forms and using crossover and united methods.
Richard Trappl, Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna, Austria, through the concert “Dialog between Poetry and Music” , combines literature and music, to “read” to Western audience the reflections and observations of Chinese writers, serving as an experiment in demonstrating contemporary Chinese literature and music. Liao Shenzhan, Director of the Confucius Institute at China Institute, US, tells about the “Masterworks from Six Dynasties Exhibition”, a combination of many different fields, such as history, religion, art and philosophy. Besides the exhibition many related activities were also held, including catalog publication, international forums, public lectures, online education material displays and teacher training workshops, interpreting from different angles the depth, variety and complexity of Chinese culture.
4. Problems and suggestions:
Luis Antonio Paulino, Director of the Confucius Institute at University of Estadual Paulista, Brazil, points out that, while collaborating with external organizations, disagreements may occur, in which case it is necessary to harmonize the relationship between the partners. Yulia Mylnikova, Director of the Confucius Institute at St. Petersburg State University, Russia, explains that Western countries lack an understanding of contemporary Chinese culture, thus are often unwilling to provide assistance in introducing it. Natascha Gentz, Director of the Confucius Institute for Scotland in the University of Edinburgh, the UK, believes that, in order to continuously hold professional cultural projects, especially in the case of complex and long-term projects, it is necessary to create full-time cultural project management positions. Some delegates also point out that many Confucius Institutes have had difficulty in holding large-scale cultural events, and thus they require professional planning abilities, which involves high expenses, and suggest the establishment of a platform where different Confucius Institutes can share their experience and resources, so as to assist one another and cooperate with each other.