Toward a New Humanism: the Arts and the Humanities

13-04-2010

In times of crisis, we turn to the arts and the humanities. Have we been undervaluing them in our eagerness for greater efficiency and scientific precision? Can there be humanism without them?

 

Two seminars have looked into these questions.

The first, held in Paris on 25 and 26 June 2009 considered the question "What Can Art Still Do?" What does art bring to our daily lives: spiritual elevation or social cohesion ; radical critique, resistence or freedom ; alternative visions of a coming humanity; search for meaning or yet an «other» knowledge that touches on the quality of life on this planet? The results of this seminar will be published in two issues of the journal Museum International, the first of which is coming out in December 2009.

The second seminar entitled "From Cultural Networks to New Humanities: Spaces of The Future" was held in Rio de Janeiro on 3 and 4 November 2009. It concentrated on the humanities as the prisms through which we interpret and analyse artistic and cultural production. Increasingly challenged as disciplines by the growing demands of hard science, the humanities are pressed to decipher the growing masses of symbols and representations that new information and communication media are putting into circulation throughout the world. To vulnerable cultures they are the tools that salvage their narratives, languages and identities for greater empowerment and equality. By reinventing themselves, at the crossroads of different cultures, are the humanities paving the way toward a new humanism?

Start Date: 08-12-2009
End Date: 08-12-2009

Frances Albernaz
f.albernaz(at)unesco.org