Should artists contribute to the discussion on the refugee and immigration?

ImmiCreation FOR

By Niels Skibsted
How can artists and creative minds contribute to the discussion on the refugee and immigration crisis? Should the artists and creative minds contribute to the discussion on the refugee and immigration crisis?

These question fostered quite a lively debate, when the Danish Cultural Institute in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – as a part of the My!Europe project –  hosted a debate for the creative minds and others interested in discussing the issue of immigration in Europe and the Baltics from the artists’ perspective.

The debate was set up between
Christian Have, a Danish expert on branding and storytelling,
Henrik Hartmann, one of the leading lights in Danish theater, and a person who works with documentary theater all over the world including Latvia,
Ivars Drulle, Latvian sculptor and cartoonist, and
Andris Gauja, film director behind the internationally famous documentary ”Family Instinct”.

Zane Peneze, journalist, was the moderator of the event.

Especially the question on the artists role and his or her duty to take part in current debates in the society, divided the waters. Here the different cultural and historical backgrounds of the participants did prove to form different opinions, and make for an interesting debate. There were very different ideas on the question, if the artist ‘should’ take a standpoint on current issues and if they ‘can’ do it.

You can watch the debate in its full length here or you can get the gist of the debate by watching the three clips below. This debate was only a conversation starter, and we hope to get the conversation going in anticipation of the main event, which is the conference on Migration 10-11 December at Latvia’s National Library in Riga. Watch, reflect and discuss!

Discussion 1: Immigration and values



Discussion 2: Refugees, public opinion and governments

Discussion 3: Artists and politics


More info on ImmiCreation and the Riga conference can be found here

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