Cultural diplomacy is an important instrument for the bringing together of peoples, contributing to open markets for the cultural industry and to the establishment of cultural and linguistic bonds. It is also a tool to stimulate political and economic dialogue, for it fosters mutual understanding and creates trust, interest, and respect between nations.
Brazilian diplomacy promotes the dissemination of Brazilian culture and arts in its multiple dimensions, seeking to stimulate cultural cooperation and the teaching of the Portuguese language. If, on the one hand, it highlights the uniqueness of our culture, on the other, it reveals the affinities that link it to other peoples – particularly significant since our country has received migratory flows from the most different of origins.
The diffusion of Brazilian culture abroad is undertaken by the cultural sectors of our Embassies and Consulates, which have the responsibility to coordinate with foreign cultural institutions, including universities, museums, film festivals, concert halls and theaters. In order to achieve the cultural objectives, the Ministry relies on the Annual Programme of the Cultural Department, the Joint Committees for Culture, and the Executive Cultural Programs. In the public sphere, the traditional partners of Itamaraty are the Ministry of Culture, the National Library Foundation, the Federal and State Universities and the Culture Secretariats of States and Cities.
The Ministry also promotes Brazilian literature through the translation and publication abroad of national writers. Works of several Brazilian authors– classic and contemporary – have been translated into foreign languages with the support of Itamaraty.
Itamaraty Cultural Department, responsible for the diffusion of Brazilian culture abroad, is organized in five units:
- Division for Portuguese Language Promotion (DPLP): responsible for promoting the diffusion of the Portuguese language spoken in Brazil, as well as coordinating the management of the Brazilian Cultural Network, formed by Brazilian Cultural Centers, Nuclei of Brazilian Studies and Lectureships.
- Division for Cultural Diffusion Operations (DODC): responsible for the dissemination and promotion of the Brazilian culture in its multiple facets. DODC also participates in the elaboration of cultural agreements and monitors their implementation.
- Division for Audiovisual Promotion (DAV): responsible for promoting the diffusion of Brazilian cinema, independent TV production and advertising abroad.
- Information Coordinating Office (DIVULG): responsible for disseminating information about foreign policy, culture and news of Brazil abroad, and for sharing, within Brazil, aspects of public policies from other countries that might contribute to internal debate.
- Division for Agreements and Multilateral Cultural Affairs (DAMC): responds for cultural matters dealt with in multilateral organizations, such as UNESCO, MERCOSUR, UNASUR, OAS, and the Ibero-American Summit.
- Division for Educational Themes (DCE) is responsible for themes related to education at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, such as educational cooperation offered by Brazil and received from other countries, international organisms or foreign agencies: participation in negotiations and monitoring the implementation of agreements concerning educational cooperation; publicizing scholarship opportunities offered to Brazilians abroad and to foreigners in Brazil
Division for the Promotion of the Portuguese Language (DPPL)
Division for the promotion of the Portuguese language (DPLP): promotes the diffusion of the Portuguese language as spoken in Brazil, and also coordinates the management of Brazil Cultural Network.
Brazil Cultural Network
Brazil's Cultural Network is an instrument of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the promotion of the Portuguese language abroad. Present in more than 40 countries in all continents, it consists of twenty-four Cultural Centers, five Nucleis of Study and around forty readerships.
The Brazilian Cultural Centers are extensions of embassies which offer Portuguese language courses, as well as activities related to Brazilian culture. The first centers resulted from cultural missions sent by Itamaraty in 1940 to embassies in South America. The activities of the Cultural Centers are focused on the teaching of Portuguese language in its Brazilian version. In addition to regular language courses, the Cultural centers offer thematic modules – such as language for diplomats, military and legal functions for and the CELPE-Bras, the Portuguese language proficiency exam.
The Nuclei of Brazilian Studies are also linked to Brazil's embassies abroad. The nuclei are dedicated to the teaching of Portuguese language and Brazilian culture promotion, but have smaller structures than those of Cultural Centers. Currently, they are located in Islamabad (Pakistan), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Guatemala City (Guatemala) and Uruguay (Artigas and Río Branco).
Brazilian readers are university professors selected through a public exam promoted by CAPES to act in foreign universities. During their time abroad, readers teach the Brazilian version of the Portuguese language and also work to promote related themes related to cultural manifestations of Brazil.
The Brazil Cultural Network further promotes Portuguese as a Language of Heritage for the Brazilian Communities Abroad. Annually, it supports projects which foster learning and the use of the Portuguese language by descendants of Brazilians emigrants.
With the support from Brazil Cultural Network, the CELPE-Bras, the Portuguese language (Brazilian version) proficiency examination is applied internationally. Several Brazilian Cultural Centers apply tests abroad. CELPE-Bras is accepted by companies and educational institutions as proof of competence in the Portuguese language and, in Brazil, is a prerequisite for foreign students who seek to perform undergraduate and graduate studies.
Cultural Diffusion Operations Division (DODC)
The Cultural Diffusion Operations Division (DODC) promotes and disseminates abroad Brazilian culture in its various aspects, such as visual arts, performing arts, music and literature.
The main instruments used by DODC to achieve these goals are the Programs of Cultural Dissemination of the Offices abroad (PDC); the instrumentalization of bilateral cultural cooperation agreements; and thematic projects aimed at the promotion of a new generation of Brazilian musicians, visual artists and playwrights.
Program of Cultural Dissemination (PDC)
The PDC is the programming performed annually by the Offices (Embassies and Consulates), under the coordination of DODC.
The offices evaluate which cultural manifestations can inspire more curiosity in the country in which they are located and submit proposals for cultural programming for DODC’s assessment. DODC then analyses the proposals, approves and administers them, following predetermined criteria, such as budgetary availability; artistic excellence; innovation; diversity of cultural expressions; local interest; potential market maker; repercussion in the press and strengthening of bilateral cultural relations and cohesion of the Brazilian community residing in that country.
Every project executed is again evaluated on the basis of the reports prepared by the executors and by the artists involved and the intensity of the impact on local and Brazilian press.
Bilateral Cultural Cooperation Agreements
DODC is also responsible for coordinating the negotiation and implementing bilateral legal instruments aimed at bringing Brazil's culture to other countries. The signing of bilateral cultural agreements is undertaken through periodic meetings of the so-called Joint Committees (Comistas). Through these committees, joint activities are proposed, aimed at cultural exchange between the countries and to the difusion of their arts. One of the main results of the Comistas is the periodic elaboration of the Cultural Executive Programs, aimed at the implementation of concrete proposals for cultural cooperation, in pre-defined periods
New Voices of Brazil
Launched in 2011, the project New Voices of Brazil aims to take some of the most expressive names in the new generation of Brazilian popular music for presentations abroad, particularly in the major world phonographic markets. Support is given to artists who are in the early stages of their careers and who have already debut albums launched in Brazil, with good reception from the public and the specialized critics.
Project of Arts Residencies Abroad
Launched in 2011, the project of Arts Residencies Abroad consists in supporting the exchange of Brazilian artists in renowned international institutions, such as museums, cultural centers and schools of art. Once abroad, the selected artists have opportunity to exchange experiences with artists of different origins, in addition to studying little known techniques and materials and to conduct workshops, exhibitions and community projects. Since the Itamaraty collection constitutes an important tool for the dissemination of Brazilian Arts worldwide, the selected artists agree to donate one of their works to the project.
New Brazilian Dramaturgy
Launched in 2013, under a partnership with the Ministry of Culture and the Associação Cena Brasil Internacional, the New Brazilian Dramaturgy Project aims to expand the international diffusion of the national theatre.
The strategy of the project is focused on the publication, in multiple languages, of a collection of contemporary works by Brazilian dramatists and the holding, in parallel, of dramatic readings of works, given that the presentation by local artists tends to arouse greater interest by the public.
As a result, the project will facilitate the establishment of contacts between Brazilian actors, producers, directors and scriptwriters in the countries where the compilation is launched.
Audiovisual Promotion Division (DAV)
The objective of the Audiovisual Promotion Division (DAV) is to disseminate, promote and support the presence of Brazilian cinema, independent TV production and of national advertisers abroad. Its creation in 2006, reflects a greater institutional involvement of the Ministry in public policies related to the audiovisual sector, in conjunction with other public agencies dedicated to the theme, such as the Audiovisual Secretariat of the Ministry of Culture (SAV) and the National Cinema Agency (Ancine). It seeks a harmonization of policy for the Brazilian audiovisual industry both at national and international levels.
Among the competences of the DAV is support for Brazilian participation in festivals, exhibitions and other events abroad, through the sending of films and of professionals, in addition to direct support and organization of exhibitions and festivals through the network of overseas offices. These efforts are part of program of capacity building of the staff and the prospecting of new business opportunities for the Brazilian audiovisual sector.
The emphasis on capacity building of staff guides the maintenance of a line of support for young talents to participate in training labs, and in screenwriting workshops in Brazil, that allow the exchange of knowledge with professionals at important foreign film markets.
The search for business opportunities for Brazilian productions is focused not only on encouraging international co-productions and on supporting specific events, but also in the publication of audiovisual market research devoted to identifying opportunities for competitive insertion in certain countries
In this way, DAV supports and organizes shows, festivals and exhibitions of Brazilian audiovisual products at commercial and alternative circuits, as well as at Brazilian Studies Centers, Cultural Institutes and overseas Offices, supporting the participation of directors, actors, producers and other professionals of the Brazilian audiovisual sector, as well as Brazilian audiovisual products, festivals, exhibitions and other events abroad; it also stimulates reproduction, translation and subtitling of audiovisual products in Brazil for display abroad; prepares, collects and acquires and also distributes in Brazil or abroad, publications, brochures and other materials for the promotion of Brazilian audiovisual works, aimed at identifying opportunities for competitive insertion in strategic markets around the world.
Dissemination Coordinating Office (DIVULG)
The Dissemination Coordinating Office (DIVULG) is responsible for the dissemination of information abroad about culture, current issues and other aspects of Brazilian reality. In addition, it seeks to share, in Brazil, aspects of public policies from other countries that contribute to the enrichment of the discussion and the formulation of national policies.
Through the program for the Dissemination of Brazilian Reality, planned and executed in coordination with the network of Offices around the world, it holds exhibitions, lectures, concerts and radio programs.
DIVULG also coordinates the Opinion Makers Program, which invites journalists and other key foreign opinion formers to visit Brazil to get to know successful projects in sectors such as culture, science and technology and infrastructure, and take to their respective countries up-to-date information about Brazil, helping to build more accurate, positive and stereotype-free image of Brazil.
The Coordinating Office also edits publications in several languages on themes such as Brazilian music, cooking, capoeira, popular festivals, theatre, football, fashion, South American culture and others. These publications are distributed for free to the public, especially through the network of Posts abroad. Volumes compiling the initiatives of other countries are also published, in different areas of the public action, such as policies to promote innovation, initiatives to improve basic and secondary education and policies to promote racial equality, among other themes of particular strategic importance.
Several publications of DIVULG can be found in digital form on the webpage of the Cultural Department. On the same page, news about cultural events held by the Cultural department are also published.
Division of Agreements and Multilateral Cultural Affairs (DAMC)
The Division of Agreements and Multilateral Cultural Affairs (DAMC) is responsible for the cultural themes dealt with in multilateral organizations. It is under the competence of DAMC to negotiate the content and the form of multilateral cultural agreements, in addition to monitoring its course through applicable procedures until ratification. It also coordinates the participation of Brazil in programs related to the World Heritage Convention and other cultural conventions within UNESCO, such as Cultural Diversity and Economics of Culture and Tangible and Intangible Heritage.
With regard to multilateral organizations, it is the DAMC that establishes the lines of action with UNESCO, in all areas of activities of the Organization, i.e. Education, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Culture and Information, in coordination with the other pertinent units of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the Organization, Brazil defends the strengthening of the mandate in the defense of culture and cultural diversity, understood as essential element of sustainable development, position aligned with the final document of the Rio+20 Conference, "The Future We Want".
Brazil supports, furthermore, the strengthening of UNESCO's activities in the field of ethics and of privacy in cyberspace, in order to preserve the credibility of communication and information technologies and their use as development and democratic strengthening platforms. The country underlines the importance of promoting cultural diversity and multilingualism in the digital environment.
Moreover, DAMC answers the demands of cultural nature coming from other multilateral organizations, including regional organisms, such as i) South American Cultural Council ii) Cultural MERCOSUR; iii) UNASUR; iv) Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI); v) Organization of American States (OAS); and vi) Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Division of Educational Themes (DCE)
Cooperation in educational themes is a political instrument to promote closer relations between States through their societies. Brazilian initiatives in this area in partnership with other developing countries contribute to promote Brazil as a country whose international activities are solidary. Moreover, coexisting with other cultures, the learning of foreign languages and the exchange of experiences lead to the establishment of an environment of integration and mutual knowledge, providing greater understanding, respect for diversity and tolerance.
Listed below are some initiatives of the Division of Educational Themes, in partnership with other countries, international organisms and governmental bodies:
Science without Borders Program
In partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs monitors the implementation abroad of the Science without Borders Program (SwB). Since 2011, year the program was created, more than 80 thousand scholarships have been granted. On June 25, 2014, the second phase of the program was announced by the President of the Republic.
The Federal Government will grant 100 thousand new scholarships until 2019, in order to continue stimulating academic exchange in areas of knowledge considered priorities to the national development. The scholarships of the program provide opportunity to send Brazilian undergraduate students and researches to educational institutions abroad and to welcome foreign academics in Brazilian universities and research centers
Support Program for Brazilian Students (PAEB)
Through the network of Brazilian Embassies and Consulates abroad, the Foreign Ministry provides assistance to Brazilian scholarship students in the SwB Program through the Support Program for Brazilian Students. Click here to view some of the actions implemented under the PAEB, such as seminars and orientation meetings to scholarship students.
Refer to the SwB Brazilian scholarship student guides published by our Consulates and Embassies in some destination countries.
Learn more by visiting the website of the Division for Educational Themes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Undergraduate Students Program Agreement (PEC-G)
For more information, refer to the latest version of the PEC-G Student Handbook
Graduate Students Program Agreement (PEC-PG)
Graduate scholarships to Brazilian universities for students from developing countries with which Brazil has educational cooperation agreement
Scholarship opportunities to Brazilian students offered by foreign governments and international organizations
To learn more, visit Cultural Department of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs.