Thursday, April 06, 2017

Quote of the Day

Artists play a distinctive role in challenging authoritarianism. Art creates pathways for subversion, for political understanding and solidarity among coalition builders. Art teaches us that lives other than our own have value. Like the proverbial court jester who can openly mock the king in his own court, artists who occupy marginalized social positions can use their art to challenge structures of power in ways that would otherwise be dangerous or impossible.

. . . We need the arts because they make us full human beings. But we also need the arts as a protective factor against authoritarianism. In saving the arts, we save ourselves from a society where creative production is permissible only insofar as it serves the instruments of power. When the canary in the coal mine goes silent, we should be very afraid — not only because its song was so beautiful, but also because it was the only sign that we still had a chance to see daylight again.

– Eve L. Ewing
Excerpted from "Why Authoritarians Attack the Arts"
The New York Times
April 6, 2017

Related Off-site Link:
Trump Budget Slashes Federal Agencies and the Arts to Focus on Border Wall and Defense Spending – Andrew Taylor (Associated Press via Chicago Tribune, March 16, 2017).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The Purpose of Art
Art and Resistance
Mystics of Wonder, Agents of Change
The Potential of Art and the Limits of Orthodoxy to Connect Us to the Sacred
Desert Dancer: A Story That Matters
The Premise of All Forms of Dance
The Art of Dancing as the Supreme Symbol of the Spiritual Life
The Dancer and the Dance
"And Still I Rise!"

Image: Freida Pinto and Reece Ritchie in the 2013 film Desert Dancer.

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