Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 44

THE ARTS, PARTICIPATION, AND GLOBAL INTERESTS We discussed how authenticity must come from a position of truthfulness, honesty and integrity to have a legitimate place in our cultural practice. We recognised the dilemmas and tensions around the motivations and context affecting the authentic voice as a tool for advocacy and positive change. We considered the parallels with medical malpractice after the Second World War and wondered about the potential for a set of ethics, values and principles to support the conditions within which the authentic voice in participatory and socially engaged practice might survive and thrive globally. We explored the boundaries and intersections between art for art sake, art as an instrument for cultural activism and the ramifications for “artivism,” while also considering systems and theories of change that highlight and prioritise agency and the amplification of voice at their centre. The group was thoughtful and generous with their deliberations and the conversation, though exploratory, resulted in two key themes for further consideration by the larger group. Day 3: Witness This theme explores the artists or individuals as witnesses. What does it mean to be a witness to and how is that different from being an observer? Additional questions include what the artist’s or individual’s ethical responsibility is in situations of oppression, cruelty and hypocrisy? Must an individual or an artist even have one? Global Cultural Fellows reflected on “Mies Julie” and “Ramy: In the frontline” in today’s session on Witness. By Zach Marschall Witness Film by Guy Gotto (password: aia37) Do artists have a predisposition to bear witness? Why and How? That was a primary concern for the Global Cultural Fellows after seeing Yaël Farber’s Mies Julie and Ramy Essam’s Ramy: In the frontline. Their discussions acknowledged many challenges including moral and ethical responsibility of artists, being a witness 43