UNESCO: Intercultural Dialogue Talks

Intercultural Pedagogy

UNESCO. (14 October 2022). Intercultural Dialogue Talks. Paris, France: UNESCO.

UNESCO introduces a series of public events titled “Intercultural Dialogue Talks” to showcase powerful stories of how cross-cultural understanding can help societies tackle our biggest shared challenges more effectively. In this film, three exciting stories, are recounted by individuals/real-life practitioners who shared their personal journeys, demonstrating the power of intercultural dialogue through their personal experiences.

The videos highlight three speakers: Fadzi Whande, Tareq Hadhad, and Inma Martinez, introduced by Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO.

Royal Roads U: Creating a Multicultural Learning Community Online (Canada)

Intercultural Pedagogy

Intercultural Dialogues: Creating a Multicultural Learning Community Online. (14 October 2020). Royal Roads University.

Professors Dr. Juana Du, Dr. Zhenyi Li, and Dr. Deniz Unsal from the MA in Intercultural and International Communication program within the School of Communication and Culture, at Royal Roads University, posted a video of their workshop on how to create a multicultural learning community online, with the assumption that the goal is teaching online, and creating intercultural dialogues in the process. The video is intended for instructors rather than students.

Dance and Intercultural Dialogue

Intercultural Pedagogy

Hu, Vanessa B. (19 March 2023). Let’s Dance Together! Bridging Cultural Siloes on Campus. The Harvard Crimson.

Honestly, dance — and any cultural form of expression — is a great middle-ground to start dialogue.

Vanessa Hu likes to dance, but when she joined Candela, Harvard’s Latin social dance group, and simultaneously chose not to join the Asian-American Dance Troupe, she got a lot of comments. That made her notice “the unspoken cultural borders divvying up campus organizations.” This essay would be a good example to use in an intercultural communication course to spark discussion.

Circus as Intercultural Encounter

Intercultural Pedagogy

Caravan Circus Network. (9 February 2023). Circus as intercultural encounter: The completion of a 3-year project by Caravan Social Circus Network. Circus Talk.

One of the main insights we want to share is our own approximation to intercultural encounters. That is we understand ‘working towards the intercultural encounter’ as a journey, as a process rather than a fixed state or a place we thrive to reach.

The Caravan Network project ‘Circus as Intercultural Encounter,’ 2019-2022, sought to promote intercultural dialogue and strengthen knowledge and acceptance of diversity in society by advancing the capacity of social circus trainers. The team behind the project, which included members from a wide range of countries, built upon Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and Augosto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed to design a new training program. The particularly nicely designed guidebook they prepared is intended to be adapted by other organizations for their own needs, and so would be a useful tool in teaching about intercultural competence more generally.

Mother Tongue Film Festival 2023 (USA)

Intercultural PedagogyThe Smithsonian Institution’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world. This year’s theme is Coming Home.

The Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity by showcasing films and filmmakers from around the world, highlighting the crucial role languages play in our daily lives. In 2023, the festival returned in person, in Washington, DC, February 23 to 26, but many of the films are now available to stream in full on their website.

A few examples of the films available to stream:

Definition of Resilience is a four-episode radio and video documentary series highlighting the dynamic stories of Native American hip-hop MCs. Episode 2 considers the topic of identity.

Witch is a collaboration between Apashe, a Canadian dance and electronic musician, and Alina Pash, a Ukrainian rapper and musician. The music is described as “creepy orchestral with dance flavor,” and Pash’s rap vocals are reminiscent of spellcasting. Shot in Pash’s hometown of Kyiv, the music video weaves the story of a witch burner who reaps what he sows.

Embracing Otherness

Intercultural Pedagogy

Thandiwe Newton. (2011). Embracing otherness, embracing myself. TEDGlobal.

Thandiwe Newton describes her own multiple identities, given a white father from Cornwall (UK) and a black mother from Zimbabwe, and provides an overview of many ways in which she was repeatedly treated, and made to feel, as Other. She learned that “The self was not constant.” She eventually found her footing through dance and acting, and in college learned that:

Race is an illegitimate concept which ourselves have created, based on fear and ignorance.

Her presentation would be helpful to those teaching about multiple identities, and especially the concept of Otherness. See also KC39 Otherness and the Other(s), and KC22: Cultural Identity for related discussions.

Comics and Multiple Cultural Identities

Intercultural Pedagogy

Han, Dabin. (21 November 2022). COMIC: Korean American books inspired one artist to redefine her identity. National Public Radio.

In a story told entirely through comics, Davin Han describes her own identity journey she has followed, as a Korean American, moving between Korean, Korean-ish and American. She shows how important it was to her to find books by other Korean Americans. Among other insights:

What I’m learning is that I can’t choose between being Korean or American because they are not separable identities.

It is a relief to hear complicated answers to a question that has always been posed so casually.

This story would make a particularly accessible classroom resource for teaching about multiple identities. See also KC22: Cultural identityKC105: Acculturation, and KC62: Diaspora for related discussions.



A Comedian’s Take on Cultural Differences

Intercultural Pedagogy

Sundermann, Killian. (21 October 2021). Irish and German people offering things. Twitter.

I just ran across this very cute video where comedian Killian Sundermann demonstrates the difference between German and Irish ways of offering cake, and the confusion that ensues.

For further information about the video, which went viral and resulted in 10 million views, watch the 4-minute version, which includes an interview with Sundermann. He grew up in Ireland with German parents, and so obviously has a good sense of how cultural differences can be displayed through interaction. Apparently the incident with the cake is based on reality. He says “I’m really just stealing my family’s stories.”

Weekend Breakfast with Alison Curtis. (3 November 2021). Killian Sundermann chats to Alison Curtis. Today FM.

Either video would make a good classroom resource for teaching about intercultural communication. See also KC1: Intercultural dialogue, and KC5: Intercultural communication.



Theory in about 1 Minute: Dialogue


In the fourth episode of the series “Theory in about 1 minute,” the concept of dialogue is presented by Alistair Clark (audio only).

Theory in about 1 minute is a series of podcasts/videocasts recorded in three languages (Brazilian Portuguese, French, and English) presenting basic theoretical concepts for studies in language acquisition in accessible language. The texts cover topics such as bilingualism, subjectivity, alterity, language, speech genres, mother tongue, literacies, early literacy, and many others. The series is an initiative of the Research Group on Language Acquisition at Unesp/Araraquara (GEALin) in Brazil.

This podcast would make a good classroom resource for teaching about dialogue. See also KC14: Dialogue, and KC1: Intercultural Dialogue, as well as other Key Concepts in Intercultural Dialogue produced by this Center.


But Where Are You From From?

Intercultural Pedagogy

Sposato, Jonathan Ng, & Watt, Michelle. (2022, September 1). But where are you from from? JoySauce.

JoySauce invented a fantasy game show entitled “Where are you FROM from?” and asked photographer Michelle Watt to create images illustrating it, as a way of mocking the question Asian Americans are frequently asked:

Uber driver/server/Tinder date/otherwise stranger: “Where are you from?”
Asian American: “Seattle.”
Stranger: “No, like, where are you from from?”
Asian America: “I mean, I was born in Brooklyn, but then moved to Seattle.”
Stranger: “No no, where are you really from?”
And on and on…

“In line with the core values of JoySauce, this irreverent series portrays four scenes that cheekily critique common misperceptions of AA+PIs, and examine some of the ways our communities have adapted to survive (and thrive) in America. These photos also invite the viewer to contemplate how AA+PI identities intersect, sometimes humorously, with other cultures in their broader American context.”

This article, and/or these images, would make a good classroom resource for teaching about stereotypes, Othering, and xenophobia. See also KC55: Stereotypes, KC39: Otherness and the Other, and KC89: Xenophobia.


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