Monday, August 07, 2006

Can art stop war?

border="0" />Guest blog by 'Markus Mark':

"I left computing research in December and to take part in a project researching art and design. Predictably my computing colleagues showed art the disdain that people not in the field always do. They think art is a waste of money and often quote high profile examples of the more eccentric forms of art such as the student who marries her car and the dead sheep. However, I would like to argue that art has a fundamental role in society and can even stop wars. Art will not bring about the instant ceasefire needed in the current conflict in Lebanon, but it can change attitudes.

Perhaps the two strongest example of this are (i) Nick Ut's iconic photo of children fleeing after US planes accidentally dropped napalm on the South Vietnamese in 1972. In many ways this fully ended the legitimacy of the Vietnam War for the American people. (ii) Veteran broadcaster Walter Cronkite in 1968 statement that the Vietnam War was unwinnable, which led President Lyndon Johnson to declare to his aids that this was the time to change course. So remember when asked by computer scientists what is the point of art say -'IT STOPS WARS'."

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely this is not art stopping war? That seems to be an extreme claim IMHO. I would not consider the photos from Vietnam, for example, to be art. What I believe you have given are examples of journalism stopping war. If that was the claim then I would also add journalism can invoke, propagate and sustain war; as we all know propaganda can be a powerful tool....
Nicely written if, I think, wrong anyway Markus.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:16 PM  
Blogger 'Markus Mark' said...

Thank you for responding to my posting.

Although I understand what you are saying. I would argue that journalism is an art form, it is part of the media. Plus the photos from Vietnam are not journalism as they lack the words that make journalism. They are a visual image that are an art form and they were fundamental in ending the Vietnam war.

2:55 PM  

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