Engage!

It is in the nature of contemporary arts to be curious, sharp-eyed and thus engaged with struggle.   

We spotlight the arts projects that question everything what is taken for granted. In focus are practices that deal with politics, war, environment, migration, gender, economic crises and other pressing issues of today's reality.  

In addition, we draw attention to cases of blatant injustice and stimulate reflection on artists' freedom of expression.

Salzburg Global Seminar
Elenq
The role of the arts and cultural sector and resilience is being discussed by Salzburg Global Seminar at the session The Art of Resilience: Creativity, Courage, and Renewal. Fellows at this session have a vast amount of experience in their fields. Here are a few of their thoughts.
Tazreen
KevinDOYLE
Last year I was the recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Asian Cultural Council in New York that enabled me to live and work in Dhaka, Bangladesh from October to December 2016. My project was to research the garment factory industry by focusing upon women who survived the 2012 Tazreen Factory Fire. It was the deadliest fire in Bangladeshi history and was nearly identical to a garment factory fire that took place in New York City nearly 100 years earlier called the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I took the attached photo last month on the ground floor of the Tazreen Fashions...
fbittencourt
What will the Trump administration mean for arts, culture and entertainment? How bleak — or not — is the outlook for everything? Will Congress, solidly under total Republican control, actually follow through on their decades-long threat to defund the National Endowment for the Arts?
From the first reading of When Swallows Cry at the Market Theatre in August, 2016. Photo: Courtesy of Mike van Graan
Elena DI FEDERICO
Is there still room for theatre to be political? Does it relate to any kind of profound and effective radicalism or is it all just another item in the structures of the capitalist economy?
jesus.carnerero
City Shadows is a project initiated by Mahatat for contemporary art in the 2015 Idea Camp and it is supported by the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and the Drosos Foundation. This toolkit is a part of a series of publications that document Mahatat’s practices and experimentations in transforming public spaces through art interventions. Through exploring numerous unused spaces, both abandoned and inaccessible to inhabitants of Egypt’s cities, the project aims to tackle a problem faced by youth and independent artists alike: the difficulty to find spaces to express their views and showcase...
fbittencourt
Canada has welcomed more than 35,000 Syrians since last year, in stark contrast to other countries that are sealing their borders in response to the refugee crisis. To help them integrate, the country is turning to art—a critical part of Syria’s history and culture.
fbittencourt
This report comprises the outcomes from the working sessions of IETM Beirut. With the main focus on Freedom of Expression, the programme thrashed out such crucial topics as mobility, cultural policies, funding, gender equality in the cultural sector, decentralization of culture and more.
fbittencourt
Art in public spaces in Lebanon: A research project and tool guide on the legal and administrative challenges and opportunities.
Alfred Statler/NYT
Marta
It is expected that art in periods of political polarization or extremism will become more explicitly political, that it will become “engaged,” actively commenting on world affairs, a form of protest or action. That is what a great many people are asking of art in the West, and particularly in the United States, after the surprising election.
Geoliane A.
As the participants arrived at the venue for the IETM Meeting in Beirut, on the morning of October 6th, 2016, a friend whispers to my ear: “You look like you are celebrating.” I smiled in approval and went on with what I had at hand without giving her remark much thought.

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