Our world would be unimaginable if not for the philosophers, artists and musicians who have upturned the debate on what constitutes society, culture, expressive arts and valued social behavior. This realignment has shaped our moral compasses from that of considerations based purely on religion and ethnicity and the expected norms of a society to a movement within popular culture that has re-shaped our minds and our behaviour. Visionary leaders and social movements have brought together diverse cultural beliefs and have succeeded in establishing a new social contract for an expressive future. This dimension of the conference examines a number of essential questions:

  • Pablo Picasso once said ‘All children are born artists; the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.’ Do we share Picasso’s view and, if so, what can we do about it?
  • To what extent can the visual and performing arts help in the creation of a better future?
  • Will global languages like English continue to dominate popular culture and artistic expression? To what extent does this work to the detriment of national and regional languages?
  • To what extent are social media and the Internet liberating forces in the development of an expressive future
  • Should governments (and non-government players) place national (or other) interests above a community’s or an individual’s right to artistic expression?