ART AND SOCIAL JUSTICE: ARTS, CRISIS & SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

The Art & Social Justice Conference has been held in Durban, South Africa at Durban University of Technology (2010) and Nicosia, Cyprus at The University of Nicosia (2011). This year’s conference (organized by the Gernika Peace Museum, Gernika Gogoratuz Peace research Center and the Culture House of Gernika) is important for its choice of a historical location, Gernika-Lumo, Basque Country, Spain, where we are going to talk about “Arts , crisis & social transformation”

The current crisis in western societies, largely a result of the greed of the banking system and different forms of political corruption and mismanagement is attacking many basic aspects of our lives. It is a basic human right to have a job, have a home, have food, access to education, healthcare, and to be able to engage freely in making, creating and sharing artistic works. However in many parts of the world, the crisis is and has been permanent and any discussion on the role of the arts in societies in crisis has to embrace these realities too.

This situation leads to questions about governance, change, morality, freedom, justice, individual rights, sustainability and society.These issues are not only central to Human Rights as contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but recurring themes central to the arts in general. In a time of crisis art manifests itself in different forms through critical thinking and a heightened sense of challenging injustice, hypocrisy and inequalities. Artists play a key role in transforming people, societies, and cultures simply by reflecting on what is going on around them.

We will discuss and reflect on Arts, Crisis & Social Transformation through an innovative multi-dimensional approach:

1. Presentation of specific papers
2. Workshops by arts practitioners
3. Circle discussions at the end of each day
4. Performance and display of artistic work

The deadline to send proposals of papers, workshops etc ends the 10th september. More information at http://www.museodelapaz.org/en/confe_des.php?idactividad=249

After this conference, another interesting International conference will take place in Gernika and Bilbao on ART, MEMORY AND DEMOCRACY “From Picassos Guernica to the present day (9-11th october 2012) http://www.museodelapaz.org/en/confe_des.php?idactividad=242

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