15. February. 2019. | 03:27

MSC: Socio-political criticism through artistic expression

Art has always been carried out in the framework of the socio-political context. The cultural- artistic expression has historically been the first indicator of people's dissatisfaction with the way certain issues were, or were not dealt with. An artist inevitably deals with politics in its original form, the form that involves the constant engagement of a man in the process of creation of a better and more organized society, regardless of the potential high price. An artist must have a political stance, but it is very important for him to understand that having a political stance does not mean being politically defined at daily or party level. An artist must be aware that, even now at the time of neoliberal capitalism, and just like through all previous socio-economic formations, if he decides to have an idea, if he decides to criticize – he should forget the conformism of living.

This is what the musician Nebojsa Simeunovic, and the writer and literary critic Aleksandar Dunđerin, the editor of the cultural and artistic program of the PKC "Aquarius", said on the topic of Socio-political criticism through artistic expression. The debate on this topic was held last night in Mitrovica Social Club, and it was organized by the NGO "Aktiv" from Mitrovica.

Panelists believe that criticism in art has always existed and find it impossible for an artist to avoid it, if he, aside from being a musician, writer, actor, painter etc., wants to be a personality, too.

"This is the era of liberal capitalism in which the ideology of money, or market fundamentalism - call it the way you want – is currently in effect. It represents a form of economic totalitarianism full of political violence. Their method is based on the claim that art is not important, and that everything has its price, but not the value. It is not a question of whether an artist has the need to criticize, but whether what he says causes any kind of reaction of the political elite", says Dunđerin, and immediately replies: "No, it does not cause any".

"Nowadays, art is downgraded to entertainment, something that is being sold, and it is not treated as something that could change the world", says Dunđerin, and emphasizes that, in spite of this, an artist must always criticize and rebel, because "art announces changes".

Nebojsa Simeunovic, frontman of the group "Dza ili Bu", notes that rock and roll has become business, and that "if you want to criticize, you must truly live for rock and roll, without the expectation of living off it".

"Everything that affects us in our society, we convey through our music, but we do not live off it. If at any moment we started regarding it as business, and thinking about making money of rock 'n' roll and living off it, we would have to abolish the criticism", said Simeunovic.

He assessed the freedom of speech in our region as bad, whereas Dunđerin disagreed with this and said that "the freedom of speech exists as long as a man - an artist - has the freedom to express his opinion".

The panelists agreed that the task of the artist is to perform some kind of non-violent, but constant pressure on the government, the pressure that can bring prosperity.

Mitrovica Social Club is implemented within the project of Center for Civic Energy, and financed by the Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.