Creating an International Community during the Cold War
As the Cold War was fought on battlegrounds of rhetoric and impressions, culture had an important role to play in the process. The International Theatre Institute (ITI) founded in 1948, was a community with members from the two opposing camps of East and West. As a result, the Eighth Congress of the ITI in Helsinki in 1959 became a Cold War battlefield. The keynote address about the avant-garde in contemporary theatre by Eugène Ionesco divided the audience. The division appears to have been a political one that followed the contours of the front line of the Cold War, since the strongest criticism came from the representatives of the Eastern bloc. For a non-aligned country like Finland, balancing between East and West, the cooperation within the ITI was an important channel for internationalism.