Embassies in the Limelight. With Messages of Light.
Diplomatic Missions as Festival Guests
The FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS is a global event. That is why for some years now diplomatic missions from all over the world have been part of the festival. With light productions representative of the country involving traditional music and in authentic robes they put their country in the best light.
What exactly is a diplomatic mission? A diplomatic mission in this case is a group of people who have been sent by their country to represent that country in all its beauty for you to see and enjoy.
The World of Embassies in Berlin
There are currently 160 embassies in Berlin from all over the world, ranging from A as in Afghanistan to Z as in Zambia. These embassies can be found in historical stately homes or in more modern buildings, always choosing a place with extraordinary architecture that reflects a close connection to their homeland.
The acting Ambassadors are the highest diplomatic representatives of their country and are also personal representatives of their country’s respective head of state. As a bridge between their home country and Germany, they promote mutual relations, improve economic and cultural ties, and everything in between.
Art and culture, customs and traditions, nature and tourist highlights are all important topics for diplomatic missions. Their goal is to help bring the attractions of their own country closer to the people of Germany. And this is where the close connection to the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS arises.
Embassies as Ambassadors of their Homeland
If you take a look at all the countries whose embassies participated in the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS on the globe, you’ll take a little trip around the world. In the following you will get to know the most important stations of this journey.
Since 2017, the Embassy of Singapore has organized its own light art competition as part of the FESTIVAL OF LIGHT. Designers, traditional and visual artists from all over the world have been given the unique opportunity to express their visions and artistic realizations by projecting them onto the façade of the embassy and to then share it through social media. The works of light art can be admired on the various social media outlets and viewers can then vote for the motif they like best.
In 2019, ambitious visionaries will again be given the opportunity to present their art on the embassy building.
The Israeli embassy has a long-standing partnership with the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. In 2015 Israel presented at the Palais am Festungsgraben a collage with the theme “50 Years of German-Israeli Relations”. The success was so impressive that the embassy awarded a medal of honor to the festival team afterwards. To celebrate the event called “70 years of Israel”, the Israeli embassy invited the 2018 Festival goers on a three-dimensional journey at the speed of light through the culture and history of the country.
Since 2010, the American Embassy has been reminding visitors of important historical events and anniversaries on its façade celebrating the German-American friendship. In 2013 John F. Kennedy inspired the Berliners with a projection of his legendary “Ich bin ein Berliner…” speech 2014 was given to Martin Luther King’s visit to East Berlin in 1964. A light installation of the famous “I have a dream” quote lit up Berlin autumn nights. And in 2018 the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift was celebrated.
Another highlight of 2018 was a premiere: For the first time, the Canadian Embassy participated in the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS. With a colorful projection it drew the attention of the audience to Canada’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council. The mosaic of a maple leaf, a national symbol known to the world, was shining over Potsdamer Platz. It was composed of images showing the diversity and beauty of Canada itself for all of Berlin to see.
Picture 1: Frank Herrmann | Picture 2: Frank Herrmann | Picture 3: Christian Kruppa | Picture 4: Christian Kruppa | Picture 5: Christian Kruppa | Picture 6: Sabrina Fuchs | Picture 7: Frank Herrmann | Picture 8: Frank Herrmann | Picture 9: Frank Herrmann | Picture 10: Nelofee | Picture 11: Frank Herrmann | Picture 12: Frank Herrmann | Picture 13: Frank Herrmann