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Dancers as Diplomats? Quiet diplomacy and post‐conflict geopolitics in the 1990 Cambodian National Dance Company Tour to the U.K.

Amanda Rogers Orcid Logo

Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Volume: 48, Issue: 2

Swansea University Author: Amanda Rogers Orcid Logo

  • Accepted Manuscript under embargo until: 11th November 2024

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DOI (Published version): 10.1111/tran.12591

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between performance and diplomacy during the 1990 Cambodian National Dance Company Tour to the UK. The tour stemmed from Oxfam UK’s Kampuchea Campaign which attempted to restore bilateral aid to the State of Cambodia by pushing for international recognition and a...

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Published in: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
ISSN: 0020-2754 1475-5661
Published: Wiley 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa61870
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Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between performance and diplomacy during the 1990 Cambodian National Dance Company Tour to the UK. The tour stemmed from Oxfam UK’s Kampuchea Campaign which attempted to restore bilateral aid to the State of Cambodia by pushing for international recognition and a brokered peace settlement. Contributing to geographical work on diplomacy, the paper examines the different agents involved in the tour and their response to the dancers as diplomatic actors, examining the different types of performance in operation and their relationship to diplomacy. Dance was often oriented towards geopolitical ends, but there were also moments when dancers used their artistic performances to open up new modes of subjectivity and identity. The paper attends to these experiences and to how the dancers’ actions extend existing conceptions of diplomatic subjectivity by considering vulnerability. In examining these dynamics, the paper also contributes to research on art and geopolitics, both through its diplomatic focus and its analysis of how diplomatic and creative practices were intertwined through an aesthetic of quietness. It thus attends to how geopolitical aesthetics matter, and how, in this instance, quiet aesthetics were a mark of international disempowerment.
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: British Academy, Leverhulme Trust
Issue: 2