Diplomacy Through Sport and Music

Lessons learned from The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland’s boycott of the 1956 Olympics and introduction of a new area of science; workshop on music diplomacy


Location: Tükörterem - Andrássy University Budapest, H-1088 Budapest, Pollack Mihály tér 3. 

The ’Dank! Merci! Graciás’ program series aims to examine the background of Switzerland, Spain and The Netherlands’ boycott of the 1956 Olympics and to determine whether there is any point to athletes boycotting humanity’s most important public event, the Olympics. When athletes participate in a boycott, what are the consequences in his/her life, career and sports for their country as a whole? What other instruments are available in sports politics to express solidarity?
The second day of the conference is based on the example shown by the previous night’s gala celebration – employing music diplomacy. Music opens emotional channels and also has the capacity to relay historical facts. The goal shall be to survey the international research on music diplomacy; to find more methods for music to make conscious use of soft diplomacy.
We will approach the theme in three main blocks: 1) historical examples; 2) Diplomats’ and artists’ experiences; 3) Together, we will examine possibilities for this scientific area in this region (‘region’ refers to the "Visegrad+ countries" - meaning the Visegrad countries plus the Danube countries).

November 22.   Diplomacy in Sport

14:00 - 14:15   Greeting: Prof. Dr. András Masát Rector, Andrássy University Budapest

14:15 - 14:45 Opening lecture: Sports and politics – Pál Schmitt

14:45 - 15:15 Boycott from the athletes’ point of view - round table discussion with Wim Mosterd, Karl Paul Weidmann and and with the other guest athletes

15:15 - 15:30 Coffe break

15:30 - 16:30   The meaning of Hungary’s 1956 revolution for Holland and the history of the Dutch Olympic boycott 

16:30 - 16:40   Break

16:40 - 17:40   The Swiss and Spanish boycott, and the effects of the boycott of the three nations

November 23.   Diplomacy through music

Chief patron of the day: Márta Sebestyén - UNESCO Artist for Peace, singer

11:00 - 11:30   Athletes and musicians as informal diplomats – opening round table discussion with Veronika Harcsa and dr. Gergely Kiss 

11:30 - 12:15   Music diplomacy – overview of academic research and historical examples – Part I.

12:15 - 12:30 Coffee break

12:30 – 14:00   Music diplomacy – overview of academic research and historical examples – Part II.

14:00 - 15:00   Lunch break

15: 00 - 15:30   Music in Formal Diplomacy

15:30 - 16:30   Regional opportunities and achievements in music diplomacy

Closing discussion


Suggested program for the evening: Dance house at the Fonó Music Hall (www.fono.hu) Those who will to attend will be transferred by the organisers.



Sándor Ackermann - journalist, historian
Amitava Bhattacharya - Managing director, Banglanat dot com (participating via internet connection)
Peter Csillag - Principal contributor, a Nemzeti Sport
Harcsa Veronika - Singer
Jurryt van der Vooren - Researcher, Amsterdam Olympic Museum
dr. Gergely Kiss - Dr. Gergely Kiss, water polo player, 3 time Olympic campion
Orsolya Erdődy - Deputy managing director, Budapest Festival Orchestra
István Íjgyártó István - Under Secretary of State responsible for Culture and Science Diplomacy (Hungary)
Jaroslaw Bajaczyk - Assistant Director, Polish Institute (Budapest)
Maciej Szajkowski - member of Kapela ze Wsi Warszawa Band, employee of Polskie Radio
Mario Dunkel, faculty member, Department of Music and Musicology, Dortmund University
Marjolein te Winkel - journalist, writer on history of The Netherlands’ boycott
Prof. Dr. András Masát - rector, Andrássy University Budapest
Mihály Rosonczy-Kovács - Folk musician/ Founding Director, Hungarian Civil Institute for European Music and Sport Diplomacy
Pál Schmitt – Honorary President, Hungarian Olympic Committee /former President of the Republic, Olympic champion
Stan Rijven - music critic, co-director of World Music Forum NL
György Szöllősi – President, Hungarian Sports Journalists Associationű
Miklós Tóth - The first secretary of the  Hungarian Federation in the Netherlands
Balázs Weyer - Ethnomusicologist, Director, Hangvető Kft.
Willem Mosterd - Member of the 1956 Netherlands waterpolo team

Conference language: English, English/Hungarian synchronous interpreter will be provided on the first day

The conference is free of charge. Registration is required. 

Main Sponsor: 1956 Commemoration Committee