Socially Engaged Art and Artistic Activism:
Artists’ responsibility in the time of catastrophe
Faced with the realities of contemporary mass-migrations, how can an artistic and cultural community which has been scattered far beyond its geographical roots be reconnected, rebuilt and sustained? In a recent major shift in his work, conceptual artist and activist Khaled Barakeh has developed a suite of social initiatives that directly address these issues. Chief among these projects are the online platform SYRIA Cultural Index, the mobile Syrian Biennale, and the non-profit Coculture e.V. Barakeh will detail how these initiatives leverage artistic thinking to reestablish and support the dispersed cultural producers of the Syrian artistic scene, touching on the broader need for artists to radicalize their practices to enact tangible social and political change.