What is the International Arts Forum (IAF)?
The IAF gathers artists, art critics, scholars, and participants for an annual conference that examines the relationship between art and the human condition. The conference includes lectures by expert speakers, small group discussions, musical performances, art exhibits and presentations by the participating artists related to an annual theme.
Why is the IAF important?
The World Youth Alliance affirms the transformative power of art, which encourages the individual to move beyond oneself, to connect with a greater community, and to contribute to society and culture. Art provides a window into the complexity, integrity, and beauty of human nature and the natural world. Art is an expression of human dignity and is an important part of the individual’s desire for self-expression in the world. Artists play a crucial role in understanding human life. In art and its transcendent journey, we experience the depth of our human freedom.
What can you learn from the IAF?
The IAF simultaneously exhibits the diverse work of international artists from around the globe and also examines philosophical questions about art’s relationship to the human condition. Artwork selected for exhibition at this event has ranged from sculpture, to painting, to jewelry-making, to coffee bean mosaics. Participants not only have the opportunity to view this artwork, but to hear the artist’s share their story about what shaped their work.
Guest lectures and small group discussions have encouraged past participants to examine questions including:
European Arts Forum (EAF) 2017 is the follow up of the highly successful EAF organized by World Youth Alliance Europe in 2015 and 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The EAF conference will gather artists, art critics, scholars, European decision-makers and participants from across Europe to engage them in intellectual discourse and broad discussion that provide abilities to better respond to the contemporary realities of youth in changing Europe.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Unity in Diversity: Connecting Europe through Culture’ and will take place in Brussels from the 24th to the 26th of June 2017.
The EAF will simultaneously exhibit the diverse work of young artists from all around Europe and examine the relationship between cultures and how we can connect them through art to display unity in diversity and how it betters our human condition within the European context.
European Arts Forum (EAF) 2016 is the follow up of the highly successful EAF organized by World Youth Alliance Europe in November 2015 in Brussels, Belgium. The EAF conference will gather artists, art critics, scholars, European decision-makers and participants from across Europe to engage them in intellectual discourse and broad discussion that examines the relationship between art and culture.
The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Art and Culture: Learning how to see again’ and will take place in Brussels from the 25th to the 27th of June 2016.
The EAF will simultaneously exhibit the diverse work of young artists from all around Europe and examine the relationship between art and culture.
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).
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
World Youth Alliance (WYA) Africa will hold the 7 (Seventh) Africa Arts Forum (AAF). The Africa Arts Forum will bring together African youth aged between 10 – 30 years, working in the field of art and youth, and interested to learn, share ideas, and work together with WYA in the promotion of dignity through art.
The Africa Arts Forum 2020 (#AAF2020) will be held on Friday, August 21, 2020, via online live broadcast on our Facebook page. It will be open to members of WYA and members of the public who have a keen interest in art.
This year’s Africa Arts Forum theme will be “Art as a vehicle for social change”. This forum aims to provide a platform for talented young artists to showcase the work they do art for social change and motivate art professionals to promote human dignity in our society in light of a fundamental aspect of our human existence, in addition to educating African youth with the understanding of the human person, so that they can have the capacity and ability to express the dignity of a human person in art.
This forum will encourage the African talented youth, along with the African artists, to have the will and act to express the dignity of a human person in a joyful and sheer way in the modern world.
World Youth Alliance Africa invites artists and students to participate in the Africa Arts Forum by submitting their pieces of art, demos of performances and written scripts of spoken word. Selected to participate in the Arts Forum will have the opportunity to present their artwork to a diverse audience from across Africa.
Conditions to apply are:
Note: There shall be official e-mail communication of confirmation to participate as an artist.
The Arts Forum is open to members of WYA and young people interested in art. kindly fill out this application form to help us better plan for the event.
The International Arts Forum partnered with World Youth Alliance North America to present a three-day conference entitled, “Mad Men, Modern Family; Examining the Role of Men in Social Development“. Students and young professionals in the performing and visual arts were invited to apply for an opportunity to showcase work relating to the following themes:
Arts professionals, were joined by sociology and religious studies who presented ideas and research affirming the role of men and the importance of the family. Artists were encouraged to join this dialogue to share their unique perspective and role in shaping cultural norms.
IAF 2013: Art and Beauty
Outcome document: Declaration on Art and Beauty
Speaker Profiles | Photos | Article
The topic of WYA’s 2013 International Arts Forum was Art and Beauty; What is beauty? What is the role of beauty in art? Should art always be beautiful? 11 artists presented their work at this international event, representing countries including Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Canada, Philippines, and the United States. These artists collaborated to write a statement on the relationship between art and beauty.
To view photos from the event, click here.
WYA thanks James Panero, Dino Marcantonio, and Wayne Adams, guest speakers at the 2013 International Arts Forum.
IAF 2012: Art and the Human Person
Outcome document: Declaration on Art and the Human Person
Speaker Profiles | Video | Photos | Article
AAF 2019: Celebrating the beauty of Art in Diversity
On August 10, 2019, the World Youth Alliance Africa held the Sixth Annual Africa Arts Forum at the Safaricom Michael Joseph Center, Nairobi, Kenya. The activity seeks to promote African artists by creating a platform for artists to showcase their art, crafts, music, dance, poetry & spoken word. The theme this year was ‘Celebrating the beauty of Art in Diversity’. The exhibitors of the day had a chance to exhibit their work and give a brief elaboration on their art. The attendees were entertained by presentations from our selected performers such as Mosoti Norman, the Slam King 2015, Shadow dancers and Movers from Global Hope Rehabilitation Center Ngong, Jersken Little Angels Home, Loiswell Academy and Familia Moja Support Initiative. The afternoon was marked by a panel discussion moderated by Karen Nabwire, WYA Africa’s Regional Program Assistant. The panelists included Kevin Kabochi, Sara Mehrgut and Ian Gwagi. They discussed the life of artists in general; how artists face challenges and what the artists’ world is all about.
AAF 2018: Celebrating 15 years of Dignity in African Culture
World Youth Alliance (WYA) Africa held the (Fifth) Africa Arts Forum (AAF). The Africa Arts Forum which brought together African youth aged between 10 – 30 years, working in the field of art and youth, and interested to learn, share ideas, and work together with WYA in the promotion of dignity through art. This forum showcased different types of art including fashion, jewelry, instrumentals, dance, music, spoken word, poetry, drawing arts, paintings, and sculptures. We had a great representation of artists form Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda & Spain all using their art to promote human dignity. The speakers were Patrick Mukabi, renown for the Java Coffe House Paintings, Francescha Pim Kaime, an artist, art enthusiast and art teacher for over 20 years, Wahu Kagwi Mathenge, budding Kenyan musician and Barabaiki a group of aspiring artists from Tanzania & Spain,
The Africa Arts Forum 2018 (#AAF2018) wias held on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at the Michael Joseph Center, Safaricom, in Nairobi, Kenya. It was open to members of WYA and members of the public who have a keen interest on art and/or would like to learn more about it.
AAF 2017: Art for Positive Change
The 4th (Fourth) annual Africa Arts Forum (AAF), #AAF2017 was held on Saturday, August 29, 2017 at the Michael Joseph Center, Safaricom in Nairobi, Kenya, with the theme ‘Art for Positive Change’. Our speakers we Proffesor Mwachofi from USIU-Africa, Diana Kolek from Evoke International, Shibero Akatsa an traditional art enthusiast and Franchesca Pim-Kaime, an Art Teachers and artist. It was open to members of WYA and members of the public who have a keen interest on art and/or would like to learn about art. For the first time we had an award to celebrate the great talent in Africa. The AAF 2017 Artist of the Year Award went to Vincent Lilechi for his pencil drawings, the Artist of the Year Award Runners Up went to Claus Mogaka aka Panyiro for his song and the Youngest Artist of the Year Award went jointly to Amos Monga’re for a dance and Dalys Banks for a song accompanied by the piano played by Joel Brian Ong’ayi.
AAF 2016: Art and Dignity
The 3rd annual Africa Arts Forum this year was held on 12th November 2016 at the Safaricom Michael Joseph Centre. Guests started streaming in at 10 am and by the end of the day we had 60 participants and artists. The event’s theme was ‘Art and Dignity’ was brought out well throughout the day in the artist’s paintings, photographs, poems, songs, spoken word pieces and the dances.
WYA Thanks Safaricom, who have been the Event Sponsor for the Africa Arts Forum and a collaborative partner.
AAF 2015: Art and Dignity
The 2nd annual Africa Arts Forum this year was held on 7th November 2015 at the Safaricom Michael Joseph Centre. Guests started streaming in at 10 am and by the end of the day we had more than 200 participants and artists. The event’s theme was ‘Art and Dignity’ was brought out well throughout the day in the artist’s paintings, photographs, poems, songs, spoken word pieces and the short films.
The event focused on giving artists of all genres a free space to enable them to showcase their art and their talent for the world to see. There was perfect harmony in combining all the different art genres the MC’s Charlene Migadde, Arthur Macharia and Anthony kept the crowd entertained and excited throughout the event.
The ambience was full of love, hope and dignity this was seen and expressed in the way that everyone interacted with each other.