no. 6 (2012)
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Culture and Politics

The history of humanity provides enough proof for what can be called the principle of support. Artists have supported many a regime with their talents. On the other hand, the fall of many a tyrant would not have come about without them. What is more, the power of art can be as attractive as any other form of power. To provoke thought, we take a look at the marriage of culture and politics in its different forms, today and in the past.  

“Art as a spontaneous expression of life asks questions of ethics and not the other way round”, wrote Bruno Schulz to Witkacy “If art were only to confirm […], it would be useless.” This opinion would remain equally true if we replaced ethics with politics and power, including the suggestive power of the economic sciences in more modern times.

An ideal is only an ideal while the history of humanity provides enough proof for what Anda Rottenberg calls the principle of support. Artists have supported many a regime with their talents. On the other hand, the fall of many a tyrant would not have come about without them.

And what if the power of art is as attractive as any other form of power? Yekaterina Andreevna shows that a work of art as a protest against violence can spread around the world with lightning speed, multiplied by the mass media. The question arises how a work of art acquires this power: through its perfection, as it was once thought? Or through the work of the media copying it?

Ivan Čolović analyses the relations between politics and culture in Serbia in the last half a century, while Bożena Gierat-Bieroń takes up a similar theme and considers the concept of cultural policy with its democratic and totalitarian embodiments, and Janusz Sepioł presents potential scenarios for our region from the perspective of geopolitics – which is something not eagerly seen in the company of culture but very influential even in this domain.

Katarzyna Jagodzińska and Żanna Komar comment on the current “museum crises” in Hungary and Ukraine while Drago Jančar writes about the political incorrectness of Ivo Andrić.

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