In today’s world with so many political changes and technology swallowing up jobs, it feels like we are at a turning point in the world and to enable diplomacy and cultures to coexist, or to continue to do so, looking to art as a political tool, as a tool of soft power as equal cultural exchanges and relations might be, if not the solution, part of a solution to unite and create understanding, empathy, perspectives and more harmony-and hopefully be a key aspect to peacebuilding.
Whether an artist’s artwork has intent to be political or it happens to be political, if art may not be able to change the present straightaway, maybe it can change the way we view history, reshaping a collective memory, shinning and highlighting perspectives that were ignored for any onetime political standpoint-and that in turn, may pave the way for a better future. And so examining how art and politics interact, overlap and question each other, will very much be at the centre of the talks throughout the year.