Engaging in art is a basic human need. Humanitarian support in the aftermath of conflicts should provide time and space for art.
Art offers a specific way of relating to the world. It invites us to let go of utilitarian calculations, sharpen our perception and see the supposedly known in a new way. Accordingly, it creates new perspectives for conflict resolution.
Art allows us to communicate experiences that are difficult to put into words and to bring together people of very different cultural backgrounds. Creating a space beyond everyday concerns, art invites us to experiment with new ways of acting. Artworks stimulate discussion and exchange of opinions between conflicting parties — without letting anyone have the last word.
By engaging in art, even underprivileged people can achieve dignity and personal recognition. As such, art is similar to religion, but it can intervene in situations where religion is politically instrumentalized.
In order for art to develop this potential, it must not be subordinated to any fixed goals or purposes—no matter how good the intentions might be. It needs spaces of trust in which to play, without guaranteed outcomes or proven effects.
The above applies to quality artistic work in all forms, media and traditions (visual, music, dance, drama, film, literature, etc.).