Arts and Politics

'Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it’ 
            (disputed origin: Vladimir Mayakovski or Bertolt Brecht) 

We are pleased to announce a new call for contributions for the next IETM’s Fresh Perspectives research on Arts and politics

Is there such a thing as ‘pure art’, art for art’s sake? In times of crisis, is ‘apolitical’ art decadent? In times of violent conflicts, what role can artists and theatre-makers play, what impact can and should we have? What is the influence of art on democracy? How do the performing arts deal with political restrictions to freedom of speech and expression? 

We are looking forward to hear your thoughts on how arts are engaged with politics, their impact on the social and political realities and their role in fostering change, provoking discussion and maintaining dialogue. The fourth edition of IETM’s ongoing Fresh Perspectives research series will be prepared in collaboration with LIFT Festival London and Daniel Gorman as the main researcher/author. 

The research needs input from a wide variety of arts professionals across various disciplines. Please let us know about your works that have taken risks, attempted and/or succeeded to make political change. 

Please fill in the questionnaire below and send it to to get involved. 

Deadline for submitting proposals: November 17.


• Title of the project. 

• Give us a very brief description.

• When and where was/will it be realized?

• Who is involved in the realization?

• Who is the targeted audience?

• What was the (immediate) cause to make this work? 

• How does it relate to the rest of your practice/your former works?

• Briefly describe how the work is distributed or shared.

• How was/will it be evaluated?

• Who paid for it? 

• Would you or someone in your organisation be willing to have a phone/skype interview? If so, please fill in your name, email address and telephone number.