Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 51

THE ARTS, PARTICIPATION, AND GLOBAL INTERESTS verbal exchanges were hurled back and forth. The trio of questioners also served as “sen- ators” by voting in favour of one side for the following debates: are you global or local citizens/artists; should the arts be funded by the state or private philanthropy; is art for social change or the exploration of aesthetic possibilities. Tensions and decibel levels ran high, but the Fellows managed to re-group in a civilised fashion and break off into smaller discussion circles. Mikael, Ariel, Solomiya, Manuel, and Karim gave short presentations on the topics and directed questions on specific de- bates that comprise culture wars. Their topics were, respectively: iconoclasm and those symbols that should be protected from deconstruction or satire; how to measure the value of arts in a given community; public art as a public good and the role of the state in deciding what art gets chosen for public spaces; the identity of artistic creations in the context of globalisation; and the role of the art and artist during violent conflict. Each of these discussions produced thoughtful commentary on socio-political fault lines. In the subsequent large-group session, the group members asked one question that encompassed the overarching themes for each topic with time for brief debate between all the Fellows. These questions refined the scope of the conversation and how the Fellows engaged with specific terminology. Natalia Mallo rejected the presumed fluidity between global and local in the Fellows’ discussion on these identities. She stated that as a non-native citizen of Brazil, she is excluded from state arts funding and practices of social inclusion despite her 20-year residence in the country. Natalia argued that because she has greater agency as a Brazilian artist when abroad, she demonstrates that global and local identities can be mutually exclusive. Similarly, Ann Henderson refuted the premise that the tension between local and global would be a point of conflict for her. An advocate for economic equality, Ann stated that she feels greater affinity for African miners worki