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How Is Art A Weapon in War?

How Is Art A Weapon in War? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian
A Zócalo/The Music Center Event
Moderated by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Author, The Sympathizer

There is a long and global tradition of artists—visual, performing, and literary—creating arresting, even beautiful works that address the horrors of war. How is art used as a form of protest, to change minds as well as hearts? What happens to its meaning over time—as war persists, and as new battles erupt? And what does it say about us all that war has inspired acclaimed works from artists as diverse as Pablo Picasso, Pussy Riot, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie?

In 1932, amid Hitler’s rise to power, the German choreographer Kurt Jooss created The Green Table, a ballet subtitled A Dance of Death in Eight Scenes. As the Paul Taylor Dance Company brings this work to The Music Center—as part of its Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center series—join us for a panel discussion, moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen. Can such art help us now, in a moment of many international crises? And how do warmongers and politicians co-opt and commission art as propaganda?

Panelists include Gelare Khoshgozaran, artist, filmmaker and writer; Khalil Kinsey, COO, chief curator and creative director for the Kinsey African American Art & History Collection; Michael Novak, artistic director, Paul Taylor Dance Company; and Nadya Tolokonnikova, creator, Pussy Riot.

Zócalo and The Music Center invites our in-person audience to continue the conversation with our speakers and each other at a post-event reception with complimentary drinks and small bites.

Jerry Moss Plaza at The Music Center
135 N Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
This program will be held outdoors.

The Takeaway

Make Art Not War

Creative Expression Builds Consciousness—and Resistance—in Hearts and Minds

How do you mobilize art against war? Can artwork be co-opted by warmongers? And what, if anything, can we hope for in creating and consuming art about war? These were …