Enrique Barón Crespo Art against Coronavirus
8 Feb 2022 - Culture
Can art help facing this pandemic? The most comforting images in the situation of confinement and fear we are experiencing are, without a doubt, the spontaneous concerts that multiply in cities and towns, at very different latitudes, from balconies or windows. Likewise, the growth of reading, watching films or TV series, not to mention the rediscovery of dialogue, representation or play in the context of everyday life.
Undoubtedly, right now, the most important actors are women and men engaged in the front row as health workers in a courageous fight against an invisible and omnipresent enemy. They are the first to recognize, inside and outside hospitals, the vital and complementary healing role that art has. It is not by chance that medicine is the science dedicated to the study of life, health, disease and death of the human being, in his physical and spiritual dimension.
Art is not idyllic. Throughout history, many of the greatest works of art, architecture, painting or literature have been made to commemorate the overcoming of plagues or wars. The founder of the Fundación Yehudi Menuhin, a famous violinist and humanist, has dedicated his life not only to music, but has been an indefatigable fighter against the most lethal pandemics of the 20th century: nationalism, hatred and aggression. His weapon was his violin, at the inauguration concerts of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1925 and UNESCO in 1948, and his vigorous effort as a Goodwill Ambassador.
In the face of the current crisis, there are two ways out: the first is to surrender to an illusory isolation, to a general retreat and to the hostility that leads to unilateral and aggressive policies. The other is to reaffirm as a unique humanity that we must face a global challenge with global responses and solidarity on the political, economic, health … and also cultural levels. Therefore, in the face of selfishness – the ego in the first place as the engine of profit -, we must strengthen the global order of which the WHO, the United Nations World Health Organization, is an essential element that strives for a universal public good. Due to reasons of public health, art now cannot be implemented in traditional spaces, from schools to theatres or auditoriums, although human inventiveness is finding other possibilities. But the confinement has a limited time. Once this situation of emergency has been overcome, the world will never be the same, and to reconsider the frenzy of movement and the lack of communication in today’s world, art in all its dimensions must play a decisive role.
FYME Newsletter March 2020
Foto: “Nastagio degli Onesti” Botticelli (1483)