Declaration on Beauty in art and Human Dignity

Brussels, 30th November 2015

 

We are young artists and art-lovers, coming from different European countries. We represent a variety of artistic disciplines, cultural backgrounds, and world views.

We believe that art provides a window into the complexity, integrity, and beauty of human nature and the natural world. Art is an expression of the dignity of the human person and has an objective value and purpose. In this way, the artist gives form to the intangible dimensions of humanity. Through experiencing art, one is given the privilege to peer into the artist’s soul; invited, as it were, to receive the artist’s gift of oneself, through ones work. Moreover, we believe that the receivers of art can also participate in artistic creation.

Art enables us to move beyond ourselves, and to shape, through our imagination, the world in which we live and want to live in. Changes are triggered by ideas, and then manifest in new norms and finally visible reality. We affirm the transformative power of art in society and culture, and its capacity to foster human beings to develop their full potential. We encourage artists to participate in the noble work of defending human dignity and elevating the human spirit, which we believe is the great task of art in the modern world. In this way, artists have a crucial role in understanding human life, and building societies and cultures that affirm the intrinsic value of every human person.

We believe that education is a human right of every child that empowers them to flourish as a human person. It also enables them to understand the deep values of society and culture, becoming true civil actors being able to support human dignity in their traditions or in the necessary social changes. We call upon the European Union to defend the common European cultural heritage and to promote arts, through theoretical and practical age-appropriate education, from an early stage. This means, including philosophy, sociology, and history of art in the curriculum of secondary schools, to make art accessible for all without any discrimination. We think this is the best method to understand European Values and Human Dignity.

In the ongoing situation of economic crisis and cultural defragmentation, it’s important to empower young people that have a vision for the future society and who are willing to share with others.

Therefore, we request from the European institutions the creation of platforms for promoting young artists in different disciplines for networking between artists, art institutions, public actors and exchanges of educational materials and good practices, a platform where young artists could enrich themselves with new European perspectives.

 

This Declaration is following the European Arts Forum event, organised in Brussels by WYA Europe and co-funded by the European Union. It represents the voice of young European artists to decision makers.

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