Following the success of the International Arts Forum held for three years in New York City, the World Youth Alliance, in collaboration with the EU institutions, hold the first European Arts Forum (EAF). The EAF gathered artists, art critics, scholars, European decision-makers and young participants from across Europe for a conference that examined the relationship between art and the human condition.
The first European Arts Forum took place from the 28th to the 30th of November 2015 in Brussels. The EAF simultaneously exhibited the diverse work of young artists from across Europe and examined the relationship between art and beauty.
“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world” (Declaration of Human Rights preamble).
The theme of this year’s conference was ‘What is beauty? What is the role of beauty in art? Should art always be beautiful?’
World Youth Alliance believes that art provides a window to the intangible nature of the human person. Inspiring a sense of wonder and awe, art leads man’s focus inward to deeper self-reflection, while also directing man to what is beyond himself; an awareness of the transcendent.
“As the British philosopher Frank Sibley argued in the 1950s, and more recently, the philosopher Berys Gaut of the University of St. Andrews, the beautiful cannot be restricted to the sensually pleasing. On the other hand, if we think of the beautiful in the visual arts, we immediatly reason that it must be assessed in terms of sensuous pleasure. But, is this true? After feminism, post-modernism and post-colonial theory how should we consider beauty and the beautiful? Moreover, if beauty celebrates freedom how can the visual arts honor a plurality of, often incompatible, worldviews? Is there an objective value to beauty and the beautiful?” (WYA member, UK)
You can find the Declaration on Beauty and art negotiated by the young artists and art-lovers here.
This event was co-funded by the EU institutions