Role of the Arts in Education and Society

3b88d-gretchen-van-lithonlinesmallestThe Necessary Role of the Arts in Education and Society: Finding the Creative Power Within Us to Control Our Lives and Shape Our Destinies

Political Music for Tough Times

year-in-political-600The Bandcamp blog has a good article about the uses of political music in tough times

When the political climate becomes dark and disorienting, it becomes vital to have open spaces for collective emotional response. At its best, music can provide that platform—an accessible means to process and to heal, with the potential to sustain resistance, struggle, and survival. At the grassroots level, music can be a space to self-represent, self-determine, and self-document—to shout back, to educate, and inspire. There is immense possibility in this, especially for marginalized groups grasping for space where they can assert their own narratives. In the culture that surrounds music, we can harness alternative economies to materially support struggles that are ignored by governments and society at large. We can help lift up those who are shouted down by mainstream culture. It’s not that the world got worse in 2016—it’s that we finally saw the curtain pulled back on the hate and violence that’s been eating it away for centuries. The urgency for action is overdue. But it’s here. It’s time.

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The Guardian on the humanities: science doesn’t have all the answers

the-guardian-logoThe Guardian view on the humanities: science doesn’t have all the answers. 3504

It is 60 years since CP Snow’s essay The Two Cultures poured scorn on the literary world and welcomed the advance of science and technology. But in a fractured world, the humanities are key to an understanding of others.

In Denis Villeneuve’s lyrical sci-fi movie Arrival, a dozen mysterious vessels from an unknown planet appear on Earth. The military sends in the experts: a professor of physics and a professor of linguistics. Their task is to procure the answers to two questions: what do the aliens want? Where are they from? The physicist asserts that “the cornerstone of civilisation isn’t language, it’s science”. But the linguist is not so sure. She suggests that they might try talking to them. The film gently asserts the possibility that the humanities hold the key to understanding an alien culture – that speaking someone else’s language, literally and metaphorically, might be what’s required to avert violent disaster.

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