American Election Night at the ICD

(Berlin, November 6th, 2012)

The Event was organized by Giovanni Tontutti and the ICD Interns Council
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy was proud to host the event “American Election Night” at its ICD House of Arts and Culture (ICD House) on November 6th. The event was an all night affair starting with an interactive panel discussion and extended early into the morning with live coverage of the election and musical performances by the Berlin based DJ duo and former ICD interns Abba Lang and DJ Jim Panse. Credit for the creation of the event goes to Giovanni Tontutti and the ICD Interns Council as such a successful night would not have been possible without their hard work and dedication. Here at the ICD we always encourage acts of cultural diplomacy in its most basic form, at grass roots level, through face to face interaction and dialogue. The “American Election Night” was able to attract a large number of people, both young and old, from all over the world. The energetic, diverse crowd paired with the various questions surrounding the election and the future course of America made for an environment conducive to open and honest dialogue across cultures.

Included on the panel discussion was the Hon Yasar Yakis  (Former Foreign Minister of Turkey and President of the ICD Young Leaders Forums), Dr. Goetz Kaufmann (Professor, ICD Center for Cultural Studies and at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Free University Berlin), Anouschka Pearlman (National Public Radio, Berlin), Arion Thoksakis (ICD Alumni), Norma Wright Head of Program - ICD Human Rights Initiatives, and Mark Donfried as moderator. Issues covered ranged from those concerning the current domestic political climate of the United States, predictions on the outcome of the election, and the potential consequences of the election on American foreign policy and specifically America’s use of cultural diplomacy. A number of questions were raised by the attendees mostly in regards to American political culture and issues of modern political campaigns which raised further discussion on campaign finance reform and the ability of average citizens to voice their concerns to elected officials.

The ending of the panel discussion paved the way for more informal discussion and interaction. Music and entertainment was provided by Abba Lang and DJ Jim Panse which kept the party going late into the night and ever closer to the final election result in the United States. Thanks again to all those who helped make this election night a memorable one as well as creating the kind of environment that was conducive to cross cultural reflection and debate which stood in high contrast to the long and bitter political season leading up to the election.         

Curious about Abba Lang and DJ Jim Panse? Find more information about them at..