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globe logo     Caravan: Newsletter of the Alliance for a Responsible and United World
Number 7 December 2000

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Re-enchanting the world
Hamilton Faria & Pedro García* (Brazil)

Mohamed Guesmia (Algeria)
Oil painting, 14 x 21cm, 2000
Hamilton Faria and Pedro Garcia put forth the principles of the international network they are setting up on the role of art and artists in society. An international meet on this topic is scheduled to take place in April 2001 at Brazil.

Over the ages, art has always left an impression on the life of civilisations and each time plays a more important role in human and cultural development. Today, with the civilisational crisis accompanied by the crisis of absolute belief in reason, the language of art is probably one of the languages which can still communicate directly with the heart especially with that of the youth.

Art not only reveals and explains the real, but also creates a "mundus imaginalis", a true reference for most distinct societies. It therefore cannot be detached from vital experiences of Humanity; on the contrary, it must participate through the human event and contribute in a decisive manner towards cultural development and a better quality of life.

It can strengthen relations between people and groups, renew experiences and bonds of solidarity by creating the imaginary and poetics that are indispensable in knowing the other and the self. "Developing with art" makes it possible to have a wider knowledge of vital realities and can make our lives happier and sensitise us to our immediate reality. In addition to this, art can contribute to the rediscovery of its roots and collective creativity. Art can thus bring about changes and re-enchant the world through symbolic exchange forming thereby, a true community of emotion.

"Artists are antennas of the human race"

According to this quotation of writer Ezra Pound, the artist can capture sensitive realities and herald a new world. He is therefore a central figure in contemporary societies since he constructs social and imaginary identities. He is a kind of existential, cultural and very often mythical reference. Finally, artists are special people in many social contexts. Artists can make a difference.

It is therefore absolutely necessary and urgent for the artist to think about his role and the role of art in society, going beyond the cold rational world where one is concerned about calculating realities set off by economic globalisation. His thoughts, actions and reflections must be guided by the demand for change. This does not mean returning to a period of "committed art", to an aesthetic impoverishment by subordinating art to ethics. On the contrary, the artist's action in various contexts must stimulate aesthetic enrichment through association with people and intercultural experiences.

Autumn begins in April

April is a beautiful month to organise a gathering with artists. It can be a wonderful occasion to set up an international network of the Alliance for a responsible, plural and united world formed by artists (college) and artists and thinkers (workshop). The aim of this meeting would be to reflect on the place of art and the artist in society and culture, and to stimulate mobilisation, and concrete as well as symbolic action throughout the world.

This meeting will also be useful in creating a conceptual reference for artists' work by articulating proposals of organisation and action at the international level, and to stimulate exchange of experiences between participants of the artists' network. We intend preparing a report with the proposals and recommendations in collaboration with all the artists. During the meeting, we will have the opportunity to discuss and debate the final version of this report which will serve as a reference to the international network of artists. It is too early to talk about concrete proposals but some of the paths we would like to explore are mentioned here under:

  • stimulate social responsibility of the artist;
  • defend the right to cultural citizenship;
  • strengthen cultural diversity of various countries, regions and encourage interculturality;
  • reinforce cultural identity faced with globalisation;
  • prompt actions of occupying public spaces by the people ;
  • construct a peace culture and strengthen cultural exchange between countries that are very different from each other.

This is but an outline of what we wish to achieve. Till April there is much to do.

* Poets, resource persons of the workshop on artists of the Alliance

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International meeting on "Art, the artist and cultural identity in the construction of united world"
April 30th to May 3rd, 2001, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Artists, thinkers of art and cultural agents from all continents will participate in the meet of college "artists" and that of the workshop "Art and Society" organized by the Polis Institute (Brazil).

Various activities will be a part of this meet. While the mornings will be dedicated to thoughts in reaction to "inspiring words", the afternoons will be reserved for debates and sharing experiences. The meeting will also include different artistic languages of all the participants as well as languages that are symbolic, sensorial, related to the body and mythical, along with reflections on art and outings. And so this meeting is not only about theoretical reflections but also an occasion to share thoughts on very different modes of expression and know about various cultural contexts.

A report of proposals and recommendations will be prepared and distributed during continental meetings and the international meet of the Alliance.

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© 2001 Alliance for a Responsible and United World. All rights reserved. Last updated March 2, 2001.