Cultural figures discuss Art in the Time of Coronavirus

Artwork from Mona Chalabi Image sourced from Chalabi's instagram @monachalabi

On Earth Day—Wednesday, 22 April——the United Nations organised a dialogue called Art in the Time of Coronavirus to discuss the role art will play and the future it faces in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The panel was moderated by Christopher Bailey, the World Health Organizations lead on art and health, and panelists included the New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz, the Brooklyn Museums director Anne Pasternak, and the artist and data editor at The Guardian US, Mona Chalabi.

The panels discussion focused on looking forward past the current pandemic, and topics included questions about the inequalities in the art world that the crisis is exposing, what can we do as members of the community to ensure the future we want, and what movements have come out of similarly historic and turbulent times in the past.

Noting the recent efforts by museums to diversify staff, collections and programming, Pasternak worried that the “massive layoffs” at cultural institutions recently would disproportionately affect the most vulnerable staff members and audiences. “The first people to go are the people who are probably most likely on the fringes of economic security already. Black and Brown people, young people,” she said, adding that “the efforts to enhance diversity, equity, inclusion, and access within our institutions are going to be seriously challenged. And it calls on leaders like myself to be extremely careful in all the choices we're making about how we're going to reduce programming and who are we going to end up serving? Who are we privileging and who are we keeping on the team? So this is an important moment for leaders to step up and think through a lens of equity.”

“I feel a real responsibility right now to inform,” said Mona Chalabi, of how the pandemic has affected her platform. “I remember—what feels like a million years ago—at the beginning of this pandemic, speaking to friends who didn't see it as an urgent problem and that feeling of desperately trying to convince someone of something, and then thinking about my role both as a journalist but as an artist.” Chalabis Instagram feed has recently becomRead More – Source