Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 53

ARTS & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS to treat Memento Park as a repository for Soviety era statues. He believed the statues’ presence were useful affirmations of history. Works that memorialise and commemorate history are often public goods, as Solomiya explained to the group. But culture wars also involve disputes over private goods with finite resources such as the number of theatre tickets available each night for purchase. The Fellows disagreed to various extents on the benefits and costs for different pricing models. Natalia reminded the Fellows to consider motivation for attendance in addition to access; she argued that expensive tickets prohibit the disadvantaged from arts participation, but that cheap state-subsidised tickets do not automatically guarantee the same population shows up either. Xenia Hanusiak offered an alternative structure to calculate potential audience motivation. She argued that the decision to attend a performance is in part informed by how the individual perceives a sense of community with the work. “It’s not a question of money,” Xenia said. Debates over access and motivation revolved around the themes of inclusion and exclusion. For example, Ann contended that theatre’s practice to scale seating prices excluded low-income audiences from the same artistic experience as those that could afford the best seats. Furthermore, the conversation demonstrated that cultural business models also limit or exclude which works art practitioners can introduce to the public. Devika Ranjan indirectly answered Caitlin Nasema Cassidy’s question for how arts administrators could be allowed to create more complex programming with her observation that performing arts companies tend to produce only the safest, most popular shows out of financial necessity. Throughout today’s deliberations, the role of the state served as the hinge between all topics. Public support can restrict artists by making them comply to funding stipulations, but also force citizens to indirectly pay for art that conflicts with their moral and value systems. Shubham Roy Choudhury stated that people needed to support art they don’t like because to condition funding on taste would have an isolating effect. Shubham argued that support for controversial work benefits the individual, noting that when that an isolated population would be unprepared to confront such work when it does show up in society. The discussions on culture wars covered the spectrum from arts and cultural policies to the position of culture in violent conflict. 52