THE ARTS AND HUMANITY’S DECREE
By Lorenzo Cherin
The liberal arts, offer lessons yet, for liberal democracies! If the past is another country, there the arts convey our humanity. We live today in dangerous times, but was it not ever thus? Did the citizens of the ancient civilisations in antiquity, not sit side by side the most uncivilised behaviour? And did they not make art? Were the DeMedicis of Florence not contemporaries of the Borgias of Rome? Did the Renaissance not precede the Inquisition? Was the first Elizabethan era not threatened by the Armada? Or the Restoration not troubled by the Great Plague? Surely the Age of Enlightenment was the name for something, that had somehow, always been there, and in a sense, never would. Yes we live in dangerous times, yet wonder if it was ever thus.
But now, more than ever, we can speak our mind and now more than ever, we must. A few can shatter buildings, where people once, went innocently going about their business. Or they can vandalise buildings, where people once, were individually showing us their brilliance. But they cannot destroy an idea, if an idea is worth believing in! We will always remember 9/11, and Palmyra is part of our world. And who has any idea, of what to do now, in a world so quickly, turned upside down. Can the sickness unleashed around the world, from a market place in China, bring possibilities for a better world, from the market place of ideas? An idea can become an ideal, and an ideal can be made real. What is imagined in the human mind, felt within the human heart, and made with human hands, must be maintained, and more. It is through our creativity, we can try to create the world anew.
To create, is to contribute. The artist is an amateur, the arts are much loved. The artist is a professional, the arts can be hard work. The artist is a dreamer, the arts help us dream. The artist is a thinker, the arts make us think. The artist is a student, the arts are worth studying. The artist is a teacher, the arts teach us so much. The artist is an actor, singer, dancer. The artist is a writer, painter, sculptor. And the arts, in each act, are a song and dance, a writing of wrongs and a putting the world to rights, with the painting of a picture, or the sculpting of a model, of what might be. Within, all artists, could be free radicals, without each artist, there would be a mono-culture.
We need the arts, for a better quality of life. While the needs of the artist, are for a greater equality of living standard! Our goal in art and life must be similar. We must enable fulfilment of potential. Too often in the specific field of the arts, the contrast is falsely assumed, or wrongly made, between public art and private achievement, subsidy or success, the obscure and the ostentatious. So it is in politics, one way or the other, win or lose, left or right. But the truth is often in between and beyond. This is a metaphor for much in our discourse and debate. It can serve us when seeking to advance ideas. Why must the answer to that which we do not like, automatically be the opposite of it? Why does it have to be either or, why can’t it be neither and something more?
In order to achieve this, we are indeed, changing the political culture, and doing so on the political stage. If politics is the art of the possible, then a political artist can help make things possible. Here is the context of a cause,and a setting for its significance.
But for some today, and for some time, what we can see and say, is there is a culture shock. Forces are rejecting the cultural norms of liberal societies. There are indeed cultural influences that are themselves, hostile to our popular culture. But we cannot successfully combat that which is not understood. We shall though, here, go beyond multiculturalism, and way beyond moral and cultural relativism. We can defeat the extremism, overcoming cynicism, racism, antisemitism, with an effort for humanitarianism, combining pragmatism, realism, idealism.
Whether creative thinking, or creative writing, with cultural politics, and cultural diplomacy, working cross-party, to cross divides, here is our statement of purpose. The aim is to be entertaining and enlightening. To feature the personalities and the individuals, all those who’re rightly celebrated. To advance the policies and the ideas, about which we’re rightly concerned. This is The Arts and Humanity’s Cause. It is a cause for celebration, and a cause for concern. It is a cultural prospectus, for a radical proposition. It is a rallying cry, for releasing freedom of expression. It is the reasonable hope for humankind, that we be responsible as human beings. It is learning the art of humanitarianism, and for cultivating better quality of life. In doing so, this is what we are working towards, this, the arts and humanity’s decree.
Give an honourable mention, to the best of human intentions, enrol in The Arts and Humanity’s Cause, and extend the Honour Roll!