Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 35

ARTS & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS • VOLUME 3, ISSUE 1 • SPRING 2018 THE ARTS, PARTICIPATION, AND GLOBAL INTERESTS J.P. SINGH University of Edinburgh GUY GOTTO Documentarian ZACH MARSCHALL George Mason University IICR GLOBAL CULTURAL FELLOWS C an participatory deliberations motivated by the arts help us understand our- selves? Thirty-three Global Cultural Fellows appointed through the Institute for Inter- national Cultural Relations (IICR) during 2017–18 explored “cultural interests and val- ues.” Their deliberations, reported below, included a week of intensive activities during the world-famous Edinburgh festivals in August 2017. The Fellows attended pre-selected events at the festivals, as well as structured deliberations at the University of Edinburgh. Cultural conversations, rooted in participatory research techniques, used to explore the creation, contestation and choices around our cultural interests and values. The 70 th anniversary of the birth of the festival city of Edinburgh in 1947 offered an im- portant opportunity to explore the cultural values that created one of the largest annual cultural interactions in human history. The global values that informed the creation of the festival resulted from the vision of a few individuals and were fostered through a network of global and national institutions. Broadly, they reflected the Enlightenment Project with an optimistic view of learning from human interactions. Seventy years after the launch of the festivals, we ask ourselves how far we have come in terms of tolerance, understanding, and respect, as well as in the spirit of universalism. This essay republishes the blog entries on the IICR website accompanying each day’s deliberation in August 2017. The Fellows’ deliberations were sub-divided into seven key themes relating to Cultural Interests and Values. Preliminary reflections from each fel- low and faculty coordinators around these themes were published in Arts and Interna- tional Affairs, Volume 2 Issue 2. 35 doi: 10.18278/aia.3.1.4