18th Symposium – eu-art-network
from 23/08/2018 to 01/09/2018
under the theme:
»just a little bit …..respect!«
…what do we still respect?
All around the world, authoritarian tendencies seem to be increasing. Democratic structures are being systematically restricted – order and security are dominating the discourse. Such tendencies, which have manifested in a rise of populism and nationalist forces, and have enabled so-called »strong men« to implement authoritarian turns, are strongly reminiscent of the 1930s. Not to mention that according to a recent study, the wealth gap in Western society has reverted to a level last seen in 1913.
It is an insidious kind of authoritarianism, barely noticeable behind its profane, modern, economic-liberal façade. What is hiding behind promises of efficient management and fast prosperity is in fact a harsh neoliberalism that displays traits of an authoritarian religion. And it is based on an ideology called monetarism. But where does that leave human beings?
That is the question we will ask in our upcoming symposium and will try to find answers to via the medium of art. Our humanistic values are gradually falling by the wayside, and we can observe how solidarity is declining and disrespect is growing within our society.
Post-factual politics appeals to emotion while making facts appear meaningless, if not outright discrediting them altogether as so-called »fake news«. All these factors stand in opposition to, and undermine, an open, humanistic and enlightened society in the European sense. An open society is based on the idea that we have to respect minorities and different views in order to be able to live in peace with each other, since nobody has a monopoly on the truth. Respect and the observance of human rights are fundamental requirements for a society to be able to engage in public debate and to allow for the expression of critical thinking.
Text: Wolfgang Horwath
*Respect (from Latin respectus »a looking at, regard, consideration«, also respecto »look back at, consider«) refers to a form of esteem, appreciation or courteousness directed towards another living being (a person to be respected) or an institution. A more profound form of respect is reverence, for example for a deity.
Antonyms are disrespect, disregard and, in its more profound form, contempt.