The significance of Munich’s Schmuckwoche for cultural diplomacy in times of global turbulance

Fifteen years ago Munich’s Chamber of Crafts (Handwerkskammer) started to publish a list of galeries and events of independent makers and jewellery artists who presented their own shows in Munich parallel to the IHW Fair “Schmuck” and its highly reputable Herbert Hofmann prize.

This event week – the Schmuckwoche – still continues to be a major international meeting point today though reduced in days and much weaker in terms of visitors’ numbers, for reasons I will analyse in my next article.

However, in times of international turbulance – trade wars, Brexit, European parliament elections – Schmuckwoche, the independent artists’ event, could gain in political importance, if seen as a tool of cultural diplomacy to promote own positions, as well as international understanding and trade.

Munich’s Schmuckwoche may indeed play a significant role in times of mistrust and rising populism – but under which conditions?

A fruitful dialogue between local and international artists – for art and design may play an interesting role in promoting identities, images, concepts and uses of ideas and products – should be encouraged.
The question is by whom, how and when?

Obviously, it is a mission far too important and complicated to be left to the non experts.

Picture: Je Suis Charlie_Loukia Richards_2015

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