The seminar was sponsored by the Department of Romance Studies and the program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies Dorothy Ford Wiley fund.
Organized by UNC French professor Ellen Welch, the seminar featured a mix of diplomats, artists and researchers who talked about their domestic and international experiences in music and art dealing with cultural diplomacy.
First to speak was Shirlette Ammons, a Durham-based poet, musician and former artist in the “Next Level” hip-hop diplomacy program.
“No matter where you’re from, (hip-hop) is the music that expresses the reality of who you are and where you’re from,” she said.
Ammons said she has traveled to Belgrade and many German-speaking countries to collaborate with artists.
“I felt more aligned with the stuff that the people in Belgrade were producing,” Ammons said.
Speaker André Barden, who is known as DJ A-Minor, said he had traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, where he met with aspiring musicians. Barden said the musicians originally tried to rap in English to accommodate him.
But Barden wanted to hear their music — Bangla rap.