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How Is Art A Weapon in War?


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 when 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 Zócalo for a panel discussion, moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen. Can such art help 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.


Photo courtesy of The Music Center.