Fostering dialogue between the "City of Water" and the "Land of Fire"
The opening of the Ca’ Foscari Baku Office in the capital city of Azerbaijan, the country known as the “Land of Fire”, in May 2018 is one of the more ambitious and innovative results of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s commitment to expanding and activating its international network of academic, cultural and private-sector partners around the globe.
The Baku Office is an initiative that forms part of the larger global engagement project of Ca’ Foscari’s Offices in the World, which was launched in 2017 with the opening of the first of these offices in Suzhou, China. But it also represents an organic development of the university’s long-standing engagement with Azerbaijan, for Ca’ Foscari scholars have been contributing to the literature on this dynamic nation’s history, culture and economy for many years. What is more, in recent years the university has increasingly engaged in cooperation with local Azerbaijani institutions and academic partners, all of which has been facilitated by the sustained support of the Embassy of Italy to Azerbaijan and the branch of the Italian Trade Agency (ICE) in Baku.
At the same time, however, the creation of the Baku Office provides a new impetus for broadening and deepening relations between Ca’ Foscari and its Azerbaijani network, helping to further reinforce the university’s reputation for excellence in Caucasian studies in Italy, from linguistic to literary studies, from archaeology to ethnomusicology, and from history to international relations.
Thinking globally, acting locally
The Ca’ Foscari Baku Office was launched and is being developed in cooperation with United Cultures, a renowned cultural organization active in Baku. As a close collaborator of the Embassy of Italy in Azerbaijan, this organization speaks the same language as Ca’ Foscari, for it specializes in the planning and organization of events focused on public diplomacy and cultural exchange and understanding.
The Baku Office develops and promotes initiatives and activities of three principal typologies in pursuit of the goals defined in the university’s current Strategic Plan:
- enhancing Ca’ Foscari’s visibility in Azerbaijan and contributing to the intellectual and cultural exchange between the two countries;
- increasing the opportunities for scholarly cooperation between Ca’ Foscari faculty and their Azerbaijani counterparts;
- creating international opportunities for Ca’ Foscari students by fostering a network of Azerbaijani and Italian interlocutors in both academic and professional circles in Azerbaijan.