In the current political climate, hope is as raw as our democracy is faltering. As our most essential political and economic rights are slipping away, as the environment is failing, as the nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, and as constitutional guardrails are pushed to the limit, we see hope evaporating. In this climate of fear, tribalism, disinformation, abuse of power, and the abandonment of democratic ideals, there is a steady erosion of the most fundamental qualities of humanism and embrace of the common good that binds us all.

We are responding with a series of public dialogues via our Third Space Network Internet channel from the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC in 2020.

The panel discussions will address specific issues relevant to the 2020 Presidential Election:

(1) Information & Propaganda (after Super Tuesday): Wednesday, March 4th, 2020, 6pm – 7:30pm: The exploitation of propaganda and disinformation to manipulate and rally support within the political system.

(2) Democracy & Authoritarianism (after the close of the Primaries): Wednesday, June 17, 2020, 6pm – 7:30pm. The hijacking of democracy through the power of authoritarianism to undermine the voice of the people.

(3) Idealism & Defeat (after the Democratic National Convention): Wednesday, July 22, 2020, 6pm – 7:30pm. The breakdown of idealism in a political climate of distrust, anger, and defeat.

(4) Real & Fake (after the Republican National Convention): Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 6pm – 7:30pm: When fake replaces fact, and lies are a substitute for public service, the result is the loss of the real.

Panelists: TBA

The dialogues are intended to showcase the voices of artists engaged in activist work during the election year. In a series of Webcast discussions, four multi-disciplinary panels will bring together a selection of artists, journalists, cultural officials, and media critics to assess and critique the ramifications of the current political landscape in the lead-up to the 2020 election.

We are also creating the online publication, “A Citizen’s Guide to 2020 Artistic Mediations,” intended as a resource that magnifies the artistic lens in these times of political turbulence. The publication will include essays on art, media and activism; a national listing of upcoming exhibitions, performances, interventions, and participatory public artworks that reflect on the constitutional, geopolitical, environmental, and many other crises we find ourselves in; and useful links to online resources and reading materials that stimulate civic engagement through the arts.

For further information, contact: Randall Packer (rpacker@zakros.com), director of the Third Space Network.

The Raw Hope of Humanity project is supported by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanity, American University Museum, and our many friends of the Third Space Network and Zakros InterArts.