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Rama Mani: Art in Extremis

a radio feature by Michael Shirrefs

How important is art in times of genocide?


Rama Mani, who’s worked in country after country, and across all continents, has seen that art reappears, phoenix-like, after the worst atrocities and inhumanity. Whenever societies are stifled with injustice, and crushed by physical and cultural violence, remarkably the human spirit of creativity refuses to die.


She saw that wherever injustice and destruction struck its deathly hand, art seemed to arise from the ashes, defying injustice, defying death itself.


This program is a tribute to Art in all its myriad forms, however and wherever it can exist. Openly or furtively—loudly, with collective voices and stomping feet, as in South Africa’s anti-apartheid music—or unobtrusively, as in the poetic ballads of the Somalis.

Sometimes it is both surreptitious and brazen, like the graffiti on the walls of Palestine or East Timor or Kosovo, where inhabitants are trapped within battlefields.


Rama Mani is a senior research fellow with the University of Oxford and a member of the World Future Council, and on Creative Instinct, Rama Mani speaks with Michael Shirrefs.

Listen to the program here …

Creative InstinctRama Mani: Art in extremis

Broadcast on Creative Instinct, ABC RN, on 3-3-2012




© 2012, Michael Shirrefs & ABC RN

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