Art Stage Singapore 2016 – Southeast Asia Forum: Artists and Cosmopolitanism
13:30 to 15:00

With Nikos Papastergiadis and Navin Rawanchaikul (Moderated by Philip Ursprung)

Venue: Level 3, Angsana Room 3E and 3F
Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, 10 Bayfront Ave

“In his book Cosmopolitanism and Culture (2012) Nikos Papastergiadis describes how the traditional concept of cosmopolitanism has been corrupted by the “ambient fears” produced since the Millennium in the wake of terrorism and migration waves. He raises the question of the role of the artist in reclaiming the conditions of hospitality in a context of growing segregation and xenophobia.

With the dramatic acceleration of the refugee crisis in Europe triggered by the Civil War in Syria, cosmopolitanism is even more rapidly losing ground. All over Europe, fences and walls are erected and politicians cynically instrumentalize the tragedy for their own agenda.

Where is the maneuvering room for artists under these circumstances? Does the sheer visibility of the war influence the artists’ attitude towards politics? Can images and words by artists affect the way the public perceives the events? Will art follow the political trend towards isolation, separation and radicalization? Or will the crisis lead to images of hospitality and to a new aesthetics of cosmopolitanism?”


Nikos Papastergiadis / Director, Research Unit in Public Cultures and Professor, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne

Navin Rawanchaikul / Artist


Philip Ursprung / Professor, History of Art and Architecture, ETH Zürich

Please register attendance here.