The Mantle presents our fourth virtual roundtable
, and the third in our series on the roles of individuals in times of conflict. In previous roundtables we have heard from writers and musicians. Here, four artists and allies answer, "What is the role of the artist in a conflict zone?
The backgrounds and perspectives of the roundtable participants match the complexity of the question. That is, any answer requires establishing a context, parsing details, and thinking outside the box.
Perspective matters. Thus, the writer and performer Kayhan Irani, who has extensive experience in conflict zones like Afghanistan, necessarily approaches the question differently than her fellow artist Emna Zghal, a Tunisian-born visual artist who brings her own interests, experiences, and politics to the table.
As in roundtables past, conflict is in the eyes of the beholder. Revolution, war, environmental destruction, the push and pull of the artistic role in society at large-all of these represent different types of conflict. Luc�a Madriz, who uses art installations to address ecological and economic destruction, provides a unique take on her role in the face of a different sort of conflict. To round out the voices, Todd Lester, an advocate for reconciliation and for artists in distress, comes to the discussion with a twist of inside-outside legitimacy: What does an artist's ally say about the role of the artist in times of conflict?
Further, what role do you, the art lover, assume an artist should take in the face of violence? Perhaps the answers proffered by Kayhan, Emna, Luc�a, and Todd will help you see the artist's position in a different light.
Click here to read "For the Sake of Others."
Accompanying illustrations by Sarah D. Schulman
ABOUT THE MANTLE: The Mantle provides a forum for the next generation of leaders to be heard and a space for opinions that are different from those found in traditional, estab�lished outlets.
The Mantle encourages emerging voices from around the world to par�ticipate in the shaping of social and political discourse. With increasing interconnectedness brought on by the forces of globalization, we believe it is imperative everyone be given a chance to shape social, economic, artistic, and political discourses.
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