It’s a classic image of England, but “classic English” isn’t what I’ve come looking for today. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m here in Bristol to explore a side of this historic port city that hasn’t always been smiled upon by the establishment, including the local police. I’m here to see graffiti. Walls and walls of graffiti.

August 10, 2013

Before I get to the end of this post, I'll explain why the image you see here is not how the people of Holland, Michigan, would like their town to be understood. Yet it's part of a whimsical downtown series of public-art posters in which familiar paintings are given an a la Hollandaise touch. You'll see another below -- the first one obviously after Grant Wood, the second Manet. The fact that a city of some 35,000 people has a downtown commercially and culturally vibrant enough to support this sort of display is part of the story that seems worth figuring out and trying to tell.

Within the framework of the Public Diplomacy Mission “Everyone is going to Yerevan”, over 40 cultural events are being held in Yerevan and regions started June 12, including concerts, exhibitions, theater plays by artists from the former Soviet republics.

June 13, 2013

In 2010, C.C.A. Lagos introduced its International Art Program, which brought more than a dozen artists and curators from across Africa to Lagos for four weeks of lectures, seminars, workshops and projects. This year, the third edition of the program was held from May to June in Accra, Ghana, beginning what Ms. Silva called a “roaming campus” that she hopes could next stop in Senegal and Mozambique.

The third Nepal-Africa Film Festival is being organised at the Russian Cultural Centre of the Capital from 18 to 20 June. A total of 14 films (both Nepali and African) would be featured during the festival. Director of Nepal-Africa Film Festival, Dr Manju Mishra, said at a press meet that the festival would highlight Nepal and Africa's art, culture and positive developments.

The United Arab Emirates is participating in this year’s Venice Biennale, which kicked off earlier this month with a solo exhibition Walking on Water by contemporary Emirati artist Mohamed Kazem. Curated by Palestinian Reem Fadda, the UAE's third consecutive national pavilion introduces the Venice Biennale audience to home-grown art from the country.

A first step is to resist the convention to distinguish “art” from “culture,” which has served to cut off domestic arts policy in the U.S. and elsewhere from broader appreciation of the cultural challenges that cross cut international affairs. Especially for applied arts NGOs working with international counterparts. A second step is to recognize and interrogate our own assumptions about the purpose and value of “art.” A third is to re-inscribe “art” back into its encompassing local and transnational settings of social engagement and meaning.