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  • Writer's pictureMarcia Farias

Is art still relevant in higher education? A arte continua relevante no ensino superior?

Or just: WHY ART?

Are you considering a #major (#course) or #minor (#specialization, #concentration) in the #arts?

Are you thinking about a #career in the #artistic field but are uncertain, perhaps because of the impact of the pandemic on the #performingarts and on #museums, #galleries and other venues relevant to the #artworld?

I confess that when the pandemic hit my country (#Brazil), I was at first concerned about the arts.

I was especially hurting for the #students who prepared their entire lives to perform.

And then technology came to the rescue - not just to artists, but to all of us. And saved us from a world with less art.

We need art to survive. In fact, it is known that when an army wants to destroy a nation, culture is one of the most relevant targets. Without cultural expression, a nation implodes.

#Artisticexpression - in many forms - is not just present in every academic field, it is also the origin of scientific research, be it in the "hard" sciences, social sciences or applied sciences, because it is the creative mind that can envision progress and permit breakthroughs.

So if you are wondering if a career in the arts is still relevant, my answer is YES. Art has been relevant since the beginning of times, it is inherent to the human race, it is important for understanding amongst nations, it is a leap into the new and the unknown, and at the same time, it is part of the trajectory of the human race.

And while you don't have to go to #college to produce good art, it is at #university that you may have a better understanding of the #creative process, and where new doors will open to you as an #artist.

If you can read Portuguese, please allow me to share two passages from the book "Vamos comprar um poeta", by Afonso Cruz. Unfortunately, I did not find the book in English.

The literal translation of this book to English is "Let's buy a poet". The book is a protest against a world in which utilitarianism rules, and an affirmation of the relevance of art and creativity to construct a more equitable and ethical future.

In a dystopian society in which financial profit is the only reason for living, and everything is measured - an embrace, for example, would be measured in energy units - a young girl asks her parents to buy her a pet: a poet. Indeed, poets are relegated to being pets in this society that does not value art, for they produce nothing that can be precisely measured in units.

The poet not only helps the girl see the world through another lens, but he eventually makes her father rich, due to an important scientific discovery, and leads to her mother's freedom from too many burdensome household duties.

If you get a chance to read Afonso's novel, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

"Göring disse: 'Quando oiço a palavra cultura, saco do revólver'. É assim que muita gente olha para a cultura. Não é mau, é sinal que é tão importante que pode ser ameaçadora, pode fazer sacar das armas. Se a arte e a literatura não tivessem importância, ninguém se preocuparia em incendiar a biblioteca de Alexandria (repetidas vezes), destruir os budas de Bamiyan ou as ruínas de Palmira. Se a cultura não fosse verdadeiramente importante, Göring não sacava do revólver."

"A poesia (...) transfigura o universo e faz emergir a realidade descrita com a absoluta precisão da ambiguidade. Nunca li um bom verso que não voasse da página em que foi escrito. A poesia é um dedo espetado na realidade.

"Um poeta é como quem sai do banho e passa a mão pelo espelho embaciado para descobrir o seu próprio rosto".

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