Distant Stage

Distant Stage

Eric Fillion (CA)

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It is a little-known fact that the first cultural agreement Canada signed was with Brazil in 1944. The two countries’ rapprochement launched a flurry of activity connecting Montreal to Rio de Janeiro amid the turbulence of war and its aftermath. Why Brazil? And what could songs and paintings achieve that traditional diplomacy could not?

Distant Stage examines the neglected histories of Canada-Brazil relations and the role played by culture in Canada’s pursuit of an international identity. The efforts of French-Canadian artists, intellectuals, and diplomats are at the heart of both. Eric Fillion demonstrates how music and the visual arts gave state and non-state actors new connections to the idea of nation, which in turn informed their sense of place in the world. Tracing the origins of Canadian cultural diplomacy to South America, the book underscores the significance of race and religion in the country’s international history, showing how Brazil served as a distant stage where Canadian identity politics and aspirations could play out.

Both a timely invitation to think about cultural diplomacy as a critical practice and a reflection on the interplay between internationalism and nationalism, Distant Stage draws attention to the ambiguous yet essential roles played by artists in international and intercultural relations.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780228014157

Number of pages: 312

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: McGill-Queen's University Press

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