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Investing in the arts to increase Australia’s soft power

Dec 17, 2019

In October 2018, the Australia Council made a submission to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Soft Power Review. It argued that greater investment in arts and culture could increase our soft power capabilities and support the goals of the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Artists are among Australia’s greatest assets for ‘standing out’ in an international context and Australia’s position of influence is increasingly impacted by the attractiveness of our culture. 

The creative and political freedom enjoyed by Australian artists attracts foreign investment, and signals to the world that we are a diverse, open and innovative nation. The partnerships created through arts and culture strengthen bilateral relationships with existing allies and offer an accessible connection point for emerging relationships, shared knowledge and exchange. Australia is yet to fully recognise the value of arts and culture to soft power and our foreign policy goals.

Photo caption and credit:

Angelica Mesiti, ASSEMBLY, 2019 (production still) three-channel video installation in architectural amphitheater. HD video projections, colour, six-channel mono sound, 25 mins, dimensions variable. © Photography: Josh Raymond.

Commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition–La Biennale di Venezia, courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Australia and Galerie Allen, Paris.

Learn more about Biennale Arte 2021.