Willkommen auf den Seiten des Auswärtigen Amts
Am 31.05. wurde die StoryDrive Konferenz im Rahmen der China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services eröffnet. Unter dem Thema „Zukunft der Kultur“ bietet die Konferenz zum siebten Mal in China eine Austauschplattform für die medialen und kulturellen Industrien. Auf diesjähriger Konferenz stehen die Themen wie „Zukunft“, „Künstliche Intelligenz“ sowie „Transkultur“ im Fokus.
Katrin Buchholz, die Leiterin des Kulturreferates der deutschen Botschaft, fand das Thema der diesjährigen Konferenz hoch interessant. In der Eröffnungsrede zitierte sie die Worte des ehemaligen Außenministers und heutigen Bundespräsidenten Steinmeier über transkulturellen Austausch: „Dazu (Kulturaustausch) brauchen wir sechs Augen. Wir brauchen die eigenen Augen, wir brauchen die Augen des Anderen und wir brauchen eine gemeinsame Perspektive“. Bei einem Interview mit China.org.cn erzählte sie weiter, dass in der Vergangenheit der chinesisch-deutsche Kulturaustausch stark von der Hochkultur geprägt war. Das sei gut und richtig und werde auch weitergeführt. Aktuell und in der Zukunft würden aber auch Digitalisierung bzw. die 4. industrielle Revolution den kulturellen Austausch zwischen China und Deutschland auch ausmachen, z. B. Gaming oder das digitale Selbstverständnis.
An der diesjährigen Konferenz haben Vertreter aus Deutschland, Dänemark, Australien und China teilgenommen. Parallel zu der Konferenz werden auch kulturelle Ausstellungen, wie zum Beispiel die Ausstellung der Designerin Liu Yang, organisiert.
Volltext: Grußwort der Leiterin des Kulturreferats der Deutschen Botschaft Peking anlässlich der 7. StoryDrive-Konferenz in Peking am 31.05.2019
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to open the 7th Story Drive Conference in China. It is not only an honor to be here, to be frank: it is exciting! And this is because of the thrilling topic of this edition. We are talking about the future of culture. And when doing so, we are talking about digitalization; about its opportunities and challenges. And there are quite a few.
Let me give you one telling example.
Europe voted last weekend. Today, we see analysts reflecting on the influence of social media on how people voted. In Germany though, the debate is quite different these days. We are not discussing how Russian bots or tweets with rightwing content might have affected the outcome of the election: we are debating a YouTube video of a German blogger who called upon young people to not vote for certain well-established political parties. 80 influencers followed his call on the internet two days before the election and by doing so reached several million people in Germany.
Today, we are not talking about politics. But this incident is telling in several ways:
First, it shows how individuals using new media can shake traditional ways of political communication. In focusing on easy and pointed information, the goal of the industry behind the blogger, is a ever rising number of clicks. Old media outlets, like newspapers, in contrast, are bound to the press codex, to the rules of imparity and transparency. How to get a fair debate then, without limiting the freedom of press. This is a challenge to democratization.
Second, it also shows the democratic potential of digitalization. The influencer achieved that many first-time-voters busy with everything but politics were encouraged to cast their vote.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Challenges and opportunities... In the field of culture, we have been observing for quite a while that lines between industry and culture are blurring.
Telling stories of course, has for a long time not been done orally. But what we are seeing today shows that a story can reach its audience via various types of media outlets, channels and formats.
In the audience today there is a German, living in Shanghai, who has shown how to do so most effectively: Afu Derksen – a star of storytelling on the Chinese internet:
I probably do not have to introduce his video-channel to our Chinese guests. In Germany in contrast, he is hardly known. And it is telling that he has just recently used a rather traditional medium – a book! – to spread his stories to a German audience.
So there is potential for new ways of getting the story across…
The conditions in Germany, the world’s 4th largest economy, are good: a world wide study in 2018 shows that Germany, together with the United States and Singapur, forms one cluster in terms of features of knowledge-based technology and digital services. And though the conditions in Germany are favorable: we do have to do more.
The Federal Government is promoting and actively shaping digital change, and has formulated seven ambitious goals, first and foremost developing a „world-class“ comprehensive digital infrastructure.
Germany, so the plan, will become the leading provider of Industry 4.0 and the number-one digital growth country in Eur¬ope. In positive scenarios, studies estimate add¬itional economic growth potential from Industry 4.0 of up to 425 billion euros by 2025.
As a cross-cutting technol¬ogy, the ¬information and communications technology (ICT) sector plays a key role here. By 2020 some 770 million devices will be networked in Germany alone.
In order to make use of this potential in the field of publishing, the Frankfurt Book Fair, in 2010 set up the international All-Media-platform called StoryDrive.
StoryDrive mirrors the changes, developments and tendencies that can be seen in the different industries. It takes a close look at new forms of co-operation and business models beyond media and cultural limits. And for this reason, it not only does so in Frankfurt but also here in China.
Ladies and gentlemen,
One trend regarding China is very important to me. As a German diplomat one of my tasks is to help German politicians, civil servants and citizens to better understand China: we observe and welcome a growing interest by German publishing houses to publish Chinese fiction, and non-fiction. And this is vital for a mutual understanding and for a more complete picture of a very complex China.
Let me seize this opportunity to welcome the German delegation of 8 publishers and experts in the field. I know that you have already had highly interesting meetings. These two days will certainly add to your experience. We are happy to have you here.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The topic of this year’s story drive conference is the future of culture. We will focus on several aspects, one of them being the trans-cultural dimension. And in some way, this is where international relations come in.
As diplomats our understanding of culture is driven by a foreign policy perspective. Along with political and economic relations, cultural relations form the third pillar of German foreign policy.
This pillar is one of our most visible and sustainable: cultural programs manifest themselves in a pre-political domain, but they open the doors to the political sphere. The German Foreign Culture Policy focuses on co-production. This way, we create a broad and stable basis for international Relations.
There is also a special formula to this task: the principle of 6 eyes. Our foreign policy ambition is hence to look at each other with
o our own eyes, explaining our position in an transparent and self-confident way.
o the eyes of the other, in order to understand the view, the history and the feelings of our counterparts,
o and in a joint perspective.
Why is this a remarkable approach?
Well, it’s not only because it was the now German federal President, Frank Walter Steinmeier, who invented it in office a Foreign Minister. It is because there are some more lines than the one between industry and culture that are blurring.
As diplomats of the 21st century, we observe that the division between national versus international has become artificial. In our globalized times, the domestic and the external dimensions need to be considered together.
This is more than obvious when we discuss about the future of culture and its impact on identity.
Ladies and gentlemen,
If dissemination of culture is no longer facing obstacles - and we might discuss whether this, in disconnected e-world, is likely to happen - and language barriers disappear: will there still be a home grown culture, defining national identity in the future?
If cultural production requires less skills and genius: Will authenticity remain the defining standard of „Hochkultur“, of high brow?
If the consumption of culture is no longer happening in the public domain: where will we meet and deliberate? What will happen to public space?
In the course of the next two days there is plenty of time and enough eyes to reflect on these questions.
There are German eyes, Chinese eyes and – hopefully - a joint perspective.
On behalf of the German Embassy I wish you fruitful discussions.