We find ourselves facing a globalized world full of information, change, and movement. This is precisely why there exist so many actors who find themselves striving, each from their own trench, to bring about an evolution to things.
Academics, professors, journalists, social activists and politicians, mass media, influencers, giant corporations, universities, research centers, educators, scientists, artists, non-profits, and society, in general, are only some of the parties that are impelling the transformation of our world.
However, an essential component to this change is culture. Stemming from culture and art, society can organize and mobilize itself in the search for spaces, activities, and opportunities that result in everyone’s gain.
How did this thinking come to be?
Although culture has always been tied to transformation and to society being modified, we can see that the rejection of capitalistic attitudes as well as the era of mindfulness have tipped the balance in favor of the cultural variable when it comes to building communities that are more equitable and sustainable.
Sigmund Freud affirmed that “art’s function in society is to edify, to reconstruct ourselves when we are in danger of collapsing.” In many ways, we’re plummeting, which is why this exact mission is trying to be applied to different communities.
Culture plays a key role in modern societies, being that they “unearth” and highlight the importance of points of view that aren’t always present. In this manner, new ways of thinking and acting, that enrich everyone in a collective, are incorporated.
A tangible example
In 2003, the Latin American Art Network for Social Transformation began to be formed, made up of 24 artistic, social, and cultural organizations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay.
Through the use of esthetic, artistic, and cultural tools such as Community Theater, community circus, street art, orchestras, classical and contemporary music ensembles, community cultural centers, the organization of festivals, visual arts, and dance, this network seeks the transformation of reality of these cities inhabitants by socially integrating all individuals, which advances human rights, interculturality, and sustainability.
Its objective is that children, young adults, adults, and vulnerable groups can create a more fair and equitable Latin American society just as they outline it.
Challenges to overcome
For culture to actually become an agent of change, transformation, cohesion, and inclusivity within a society, it must exist in accordance to the politics (of development as well as of governments) of each particular case, meaning, that said politics be applied in alignment to the particular context.
Furthermore, it is important that governments themselves continue to create new programs that support culture and that they strengthen existing ones, being that a lack of funds and aid bring about immediate damage to culture, yet it is society that will suffer the effects in the long run.