7./8.7.2023: International Symposium «Cultural Relations between Spain and the Communist World during the Cold War»

The Symposium aims to be a platform for sharing and publicising specific chapters on the cultural exchange that took place between Spain and the countries of the Soviet and Communist orbit during the Cold War.

The term «culture» is defined in a broad sense as a set of social practices and sociability in which aesthetic or symbolic objects are shared on a common or consensual scale. Along with artistic expressions in the strict sense, such as music, dance, literature, film, and the fine arts, sport, religion, language, and science are also important.

The Symposium looks for the cracks in the iron curtain through which Flamenco dancers could travel to Moscow or Bolshoi dancers to Madrid, the processes that made it possible for Spanish filmmakers or writers to take part in festivals or book fairs in the countries of the East and vice versa, for Czech, Bulgarian or German Democratic Republic films to be seen in Spanish cinemas or on television. How was it possible for sportsmen to compete on the other side, for musicians of any style to perform in front of the political enemy, or for paintings to be exchanged for exhibitions?

The symposium will be held on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 July 2023 in Bern, Switzerland.


Organised by: Schweizerische Musikforschende Gesellschaft (SMG)

In collaboration with:
Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (Dodis)
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds
Schweizerische Akademie der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaften (SAGW)
Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Geschichte (SGG)
Universität Bern (Unibe)
Kairos Stiftung
Grupo de Investigación de Historia de las Relaciones Internacionales – Universidad Complutense de Madrid (GHistRI–UCM)
Embajada de España en Suiza