Cultural Diplomacy in Afghanistan with Laura Tedesco


January 22, 2022

Welcome to Season 2 of the Bush China Foundation Podcast!

Sitting on important historical crossroads, Afghanistan has a vast cultural heritage, but its future is uncertain as instability and chaos persist in the country, following the recent takeover of the Taliban. The international community can do little to secure the sites and artifacts especially without working directly with the Taliban. Although Afghanistan has long been considered a bright spot for U.S.-China cooperation, great power competition has complicated efforts to coordinate in response to the ever-changing security situation on the ground. 

In this episode, Laura Tedesco joins host Zoe Leung to explore how cultural diplomacy play a role in the security of Afghanistan and the region and what major powers like the United States and China should do to help preserve cultural resources in Afghanistan.

Dr. Laura Tedesco is the Cultural Heritage program manager for the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Her work is centered on helping U.S. embassies across the region identify and guide cultural preservation projects supported by the State Department and she has spent over a decade working to save Afghanistan’s cultural treasures from a host of various threats. She previously worked at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, developing and overseeing initiatives to support the preservation of Afghanistan’s cultural patrimony, including numerous archaeological sites, monuments and the National Museum of Afghanistan.

Find more ways to listen to this and other Bush China Foundation podcasts here.