The Global Arts and Politics Alliance (GAPA) is an idea, a vision and a concept thought of by us, Gana Comagic and Wanda Tiefenbacher, who both lived and worked in Montenegro when the thought of creating an NGO was born. Following some negative NGO experiences, we thought about founding our own organisation based around a topic we really care about: political art, and the advancement of its status in the political and artistic world. Ideas call for action, so we made it happen. After avid discussions, planning and organisation, GAPA was born in September 2015.
Through GAPA, we want to provide a platform for people involved in the discipline of political science (academically, as activists or otherwise) and all sorts of artists – ranging from filmmakers to drawers, from theatre directors to graphic designers and graffiti artists. There exists an important link between those two groups: the advancement of knowledge about political issues, and within that some form of activism for political, social and cultural awareness. This issue has long been dealt with by social theorists of the mid/late 20th century: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Jacques Rancière to name a few, who wrote about the aestheticisation of politics, and the politicisation of aesthetics. The intersection between arts and politics is well established academically, but often lacks practical application in the modern world.
Where do we see political art nowadays? Think about Banksy’s socially critical amazing graffitis, or brilliant animated films like Persepolis. Artists should have the opportunity to engage in conversation with academics, professionals and thinkers on the matter of politics, and those in turn should find an opportunity to give their knowledge a face in the form of artistic expression. Together, a platform for many forms of “art activism” can be created. GAPA seeks to unite talents and ideas in an environment of exchange and creation, where a critical discourse about the world can be fostered in an arena previously left unexplored.