The Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2013

"Cultural Diplomacy & Cross Continental Cooperation: Building Bridges for a United Global Community"

(Berlin; December 17th - 21st, 2013)

"The Strength of Song"

An Evening hosted by Marcia Barrett

(ICD House; Concert and Performance; December 19th, 2013)

Celebrated artist and lead singer of "Boney M", Marcia Barrett will be presenting an evening of Music as Cultural Diplomacy with concert, performance and discussion from international celebrities. Entitled "The Strength of Song", the evening forms part of the ICD's Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy and tells the story of music's ability to transcend borders and bring people together- no matter what the political, social, or cultural situation.

Universal to all mankind, no known society has lacked a musical culture, and the power of music to affect positive change has been a hallmark of human history. From the goodwill messages of the US Jazz ambassadors during the Cold War, to the Vietnam protest movement, to the sounds of Miriam Makeba during South African apartheid, to the songs of Scorpion promoting East-West German reunification; music does not only reflect the mood of society, but also acts as a galvanizing force as a voice for the people and rallying call of social movements.

As host for the evening, Marcia Barrett will present the 'Strength of Song' and will be performing live. A symbol of Cultural Diplomacy herself, Marcia Barrett and Bony M are famous for the huge popularity they enjoyed in the Soviet Union and continue to enjoy in the former USSR. Despite originally having a number of their records banned by officials, the popularity of Marcia Barrett and Bony M was irresistible for those isolated behind the Iron Curtain, with black market recordings being highly prized objects for a youth tired of bland communist-approved songs. Indeed, when East-West relations began to thaw in the late 1970s, Bony M was one the first mainstream Western acts allowed into the Soviet Union.

As a solo-artist Ms. Barrett has tirelessly continued her musical work, spreading positive messages and promoting music as Cultural Diplomacy around the world. An ardent detractor of U.S military intervention in Iraq, Ms. Barrett released a benefit EP No War! Peace and Love", with the proceeds going to the War Child charity organization for children struggling in war zones. More recently she has continued touring in conflict stricken regions, making headlines in 2007 when their performed in South Ossetia, Georgia drew approval from President Mikheil Saakashvili who lauded the concert, stating that music could "lure out people from their trenches, force them to drop [their] Kalashnikovs, come here and dance with the others and in the understand that nothing is as nice as peace, nothing is as nice as reconciliation."