13 Horizonte celebrates 30 Years of Cultural Diplomacy

Through cinema, music and exhibitions, 13 East-European and Central-Asian embassies invite to cultural exchange in Berlin.

September 26th, 2022
Maria Asklund, News from Berlin
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Taking place from September until December, 13 Horizonte raises awareness on the topic of 30 years of diplomatic relations with Germany. Branching from cinema to concerts and exhibitions, East-European and Central-Asian culture is celebrated in the German capitol this autumn.

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldovia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan are cooperating with the German Office for External Relations (Auswärtiges Amt) to organize this exciting project. Since 1992, the 13 states have had diplomatic relations with the then recently re-unified Germany. The years of diplomacy are described as “bi-national culture politics”, which also expresses the starting point of this jubilee.

In fact, 13 Horizonte aims to create and invite to cultural exchange. While reminding participants of that which has been established during these 30 years, it also aims to gaze into the future, collectively with all participating states. Namely, 13 Horizonte prides itself upon being an important platform in this difficult time. Accordingly, it wants to make possible a “chance to get to know and understand” for those who participate and visit the events.

Placing cultural diversity, historical memory and wishes for the future at its very centre, this inter-cultural project also underlines the importance of sustainable exchange. This should be established in a respectful manner, with focus on both differences and similarities. Subsequently, this is an important base for working towards a flourishing future within diplomacy.

In this sense, 13 Horizonte reminds us of what has happened during the last 30 years, namely the creation of a diverse modernity all the way from East Europe to Central Asia. As one can imagine, this is a large amount of land, encompassing numerous states with different political systems, languages, and ways of life. The jubilee puts on display how age-old traditions have been of importance, how life has changed in this area and what hopes and dreams exist for the future.

More concretely, the wide variety of voices and stories will be heard through concerts, cinema as well as an exhibition. Firstly, the cinema focuses on themes such as rural life, women’s independence, brave voices against systematic injustice as well as stigmatized love. One example is the Armenian film Zulali by director Hayk Ordyan, as seen on the image. Secondly, the concerts present jazz, classical music, and contemporary styles.

Working on this project are thus a number of devoted institutions. Joining the German Office for External Relations are almost all 13 embassies corresponding to the above-mentioned countries. Some of them include the Slovenian, Azerbaijanian and Croatian Embassies. In addition, non-governmental organizations such as the German-Armenian Forum (Deutsch Armenisches Forum) are supporting the jubilee.

Many of the events are actually hosted by the Embassies, such as film screenings for example. Besides that, the major locations of 13 Horizonte are the Yorck Cinema Group (Yorck Kinogruppe), the Culture Brewery (Kulturbrauerei) and the Pianosalon Chistophori. Taking place all around Berlin, one should definitely not miss this celebration of cultural diplomacy that invites everyone to learn more about cultural expressions beyond Germany’s Eastern border. Especially today, in a war-torn Eastern Europe, and in a world where dangerous powers attempt to create conflicts between cultures and peoples, meeting-points for people from all backgrounds are vital. The best contribution we can make on an individual level is to learn about that which we do not know and to always be curious to new stories. 13 Horizonte is an exceptional occasion for these purposes.


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