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Art, expressions of visions of the real or imaginary world

Art, expressions of visions of the real or imaginary world

Photo by: Teletón

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World Art Day is an international celebration of the arts, which was declared by the International Art Association (IAA) in order to promote awareness of creative activity throughout the world. The proposal was presented at the 17th General Assembly of the Association in Guadalajara to declare April 15 as World Art Day, with its first celebration taking place in 2012.

This proposal was sponsored by Bedri Baykam from Turkey and co-signed by Rosa Maria Burillo Velasco from Mexico, Anne Pourny from France, Liu Dawei from China, Christos Symeonides from Cyprus, Anders Liden from Sweden, Kan Irie from Japan, Pavel Kral from Slovakia, Dev Chooramun from Mauritius, and Hilde Rognskog from Norway. This proposal was unanimously accepted by the General Assembly.

The date was chosen in honor of the birth day of Leonardo da Vinci (painter, sculptor, designer, architect, poet, biologist and a long etcetera, for whom he considers the “Renaissance man”), who was selected as a world symbol of peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism.

The first World Art Day was on April 15, 2012, it was supported by all the national committees of the International Art Association and 150 artists, including those from France, Sweden, Slovakia, South Africa, Cyprus and Venezuela, but the intention of the event is universal. The events varied in terms of special museum hours, conferences and more.

Art is one of the most evolved forms of human expression. Through it, man can express his personal vision of what afflicts him, interests him or simply seems beautiful to him, through plastic, sound or linguistic resources.

The creativity of the human being can be fluid or limited since it is linked to artistic freedom, which is the freedom to imagine, create and distribute diverse cultural expressions without government censorship, political interference or pressure from non-state actors. It includes the right of all citizens to access these works and is essential for the well-being of societies.

Artistic freedom embodies a set of rights protected under international law: The right to create without censorship or intimidation; the right to have artistic work supported, distributed and remunerated; the right to freedom of movement; the right to freedom of association; the right to protection of economic and social rights; the right to participate in cultural life.

The 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions states that “Cultural diversity can only be protected and promoted if human rights and fundamental freedoms are guaranteed, such as freedom of expression, information and communication, as well as the possibility for people to have access to diverse cultural expressions” [1]

However, the world still cannot speak of full artistic freedom, quoting Deeyah Khan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity: “The right of artists to express themselves freely is threatened all over the world “Art has the extraordinary capacity to express resistance and rebellion, protest and hope. It makes an essential contribution to all prosperous democracies” [2]

The adoption of World Art Day confirms the importance for Mexico, as a cultural power, of the creative industries and policies on the matter as central points to generate development and social inclusion within a framework of respect for cultural diversity and non-discrimination, rights and actions.

This celebration has the purpose of becoming one of the instruments to promote the role of culture as a transversal tool to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, while reinforcing UNESCO’s sectors and programs and remembering the incalculable contributions that the arts and cultural heritage represent for humanity.

2020 became a watershed for many activities and social dynamics, in the presence of COVID-19, “these times force us to reflect on the future of the cultural field in the midst of a global emergency. Dialogue and listening will be essential to imagine new horizons in a collective, diverse and inclusive way. With solidarity and generosity we will get ahead” Alejandra Frausto, Secretary of Culture of Mexico. This is how the strategy “With you in the distance” was adopted, a space for creators and the general public that invites them to discover the cultural diversity of Mexico and participate actively, without having to leave home.

Mexico is also a seedbed of this diversity of artistic expressions committed to this cause and also celebrates this world festival, to show nationally and internationally that culture in our country is above violence and is the maximum expression that writes our history, because we have an enormous wealth of pre-Hispanic, colonial and modern art that can be seen both in museums, as well as in public areas and in the abundant remains of indigenous architecture.

The celebrations of this day help to strengthen the links between artistic creations and society, to promote a greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and to highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. Likewise, this date is the opportunity to highlight artistic education in schools, since culture is the path to an inclusive and equitable education. There is much to learn, share and celebrate on World Art Day, and UNESCO encourages everyone to participate through various activities such as debates, conferences, workshops, cultural events and presentations or exhibitions.