CONSPIRACY THEORIES ON CORONA – A CHALLENGE

Corona virus and its disease Covid-19

Numerous conspiracy theories also circulate in Corona times.
What is behind it?

George DuBose - Biz Markie

George DuBose - Biz Markie. ArtForum Editions

Conspiracy theories are a psycho-sociological phenomenon that broadly describes the attempt to explain a state, an event or a development through a conspiracy.  It is suspected, that i.e. a targeted, secret work of a mostly small group of people will detriment a few other people or or (parts of) society . They are generally understood by the public in the sense of ideologies that ultimately do not promote a critical debate, but rather hinder it. Numerous conspiracy theoriesalso circulate in the case of the corona virus.

As far as conspiracy theories are based on rational and verifiable statements or questions, one should correctly speak of conspiracy hypotheses.
Hypotheses are fundamentally not negative, they require space where knowledge is missing or is not accessible.

Imagine: Corona-virus and its disease Covid-19 as well as conspiracy ideologies threaten humanity. Knowledge, solidarity, respect and love are required like never before.

So, even in times of Corona, numerous questions are still open:

-  Why is a long time advised procedure to wear protective masks  rejected or made ridiculous instead to declare openly that preventive measures are still missing?
-  Why free stays in the fresh air (even in the forest, mountains, sea) are prohibited, but inside supermarkets (different from district to district, from city to state), supermarket cashiers and customers are unprotected?
- Why are disinfection procedures are done and masks prescribed and worn especially in countries with some experiences with aerosol diseases?  But in e.g. Europe there is  not even insight into this question yet?

Of course, we cannot give any qualified answers at this point and would even like to expressly warn against conspiracy ideologies.
Perhaps, however, our information - and in the following our instructions - will help to understand the problem somewhat better and to protect us all.

Truths Invented or Believed?

When it is no longer possible to explain everything unknown with the work of an almighty God, there is a growing tendency to attribute unpleasant phenomena to the dark power of a conspiratorial group - “somebody has to be responsible for it”. This appears to be the only solution out of your own ignorance and responsibility. In this sense, conspiracy theories in the sense of hypotheses are primarily to be understood as symptoms of a crisis in the face of a state of ignorance. The state of ignorance in turn leads to fear. Fears are a natural feeling, so you should take them seriously. They are not sick as such, but they can make you sick if you can't deal with them.

Violence - internally and / or externally - can be a result of fear and thus a logical consequence of conspiracy tendencies: if the threat posed by an overpowered power is to great and if there is still no means due to an ideological self-sealing to refute the fearful idea, then, maybe, every means attainable will be right to defend it.

Fears must therefore always be taken very seriously. A way out of weakness can only provide by knowledge through comprehensive transparency and education. Because knowledge is the best way to find solutions. However, there will be no state of omniscient truth.Knowledge does not mean truth. Any research can only create knowledge, but we can only believe the truth *. Ultimately, truths cannot be suppressed by disciplining what can be said, but only by accessing and accepting as diverse a knowledge as possible.

* Recommended for a fundamental insight into the phenomenon "Believed Truths" is the publication of the same name as a contribution to the philosophy of photography at ArtForum Editions I KulturPlusMedien. Book order online at: winterstiftung (at) web.de.
(PM)

Stay healthy ! **

**A common project of Artforum Culture Foundation,  WinterStiftung Hamburg  and GoPublic-Stiftungsberatung

All recommendations are subject to better care and / or newer knowledge.

 

GREECE IN CRISIS – CHANCE FOR EUROPE

Posted Dec. 2009

Greece is in the focus of interest and the much-discussed crisis reveals reliably: everything is connected with everything. Pythagoras already recognized this.

Starting from this realization it becomes clear that Greece can master problems only together with those who are involved. National indebtedness with similar effect as the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers is the result of a wrong national consciousness by a system, where profits are privatized and losses are socialized. Lack of democratic control opens all gates for corruption and mismanagement. This is not only a Greek phenomenon and problem, but generally at least by the European Union bureaucracy. However,  A big problem has arisen from the fact  that this pacifistic country has the highest military expenditure per head.

Naturally a recovery of the lack is not possible without strong participation of Greece itself. We have to go back finally to the roots of the evil. Continuous fraud and mismanagement in the public sector led a country, weak of innovation, into a big crisis. Deliveries and taxes were drastically increased, but only little steps are really done. The large fortunes still are not touched; the people only carry the load. Many of the few thousands wealthy people are not willing to do their contribution for the society and their necessary development. Whole industries are traditionally excluded from taxation -there are large potentials.

A further way would be additional support of education, art and culture by a simplification of the foundation laws and a complete release for amounts of foundation and donations for the. The blind pride on cultural values of the antiquity, without promoting these and contemporary efforts effectively, may not have place anymore in the Greek policy.

Within a really social and democratic European Union it should be also possible to receive foundations and donations from other countries of the European Union honored by tax reductions. Straight for Greece, whose people live approximately 50% in Europe and overseas, it would particularly boosted welfare.

At last the crisis will give the possibility to think about a renewal of societies. Democracy can function only if social justice is possible. Economic prosperity and lastingness can proceed in the long term only by a well-educated society, which take part also on the economical benefits.

All this is part of a cycle, which secures a surviving of mankind. It seem to be clear, there will be no lasting peace, as long as the mistrust remains the prevailing and all other edging out norm. Cultural ignorance is the mostly incriminating factor, which sows mistrust between us. The increasing efforts towards a peaceful and greener planet go to the vacuousness if we treat contemptuous the same time the human achievements, which are foreign to us.

Just the discovery and use of cultural resources rescues an immense potential for the economic and social development in itself.
We all should make constantly an effort to get to know our human differences and to accept and to value other traditions accordingly of her own values and aesthetics which are a share of a broader human order. By the support of those, who do this,  by the propagation of acceptance and tolerance we will be able to do something for the future of our world.

The non-profit Artforum Culture Foundation exerts itself for these targets and gives its contribution by own projects, co-operations and by interlinking with artists, galleries, collectors and as well as with museums and art organisations.

 

INTERVIEW

Question: Which assignments does Artforum Culture Foundation (abbreviation ACF) fulfil?
Apostolidou: ACF is a foundation which runs cultural activities. The main running projects are, for instance, our NETWORK+ Project and our idea of a European Cultural Centre (ECC) in Thessaloniki. To name one project based on a single artistic idea, this is the initiation of the project Sancto Subito with which we would like to perform a contribution to the actual discussion about the system of ethical values.

Question: Contemporary art plays a leading role at ACF. What is the policy of ACF concerning international change exhibitions and itinerant exhibitions, which ACF shows in its spaces or sends somewhere else?
Apostolidou: ACF wants to promote the cultural dialogue and the artistic exchange in the conviction, that this is conducive to the reciprocal understanding and the tolerance between the nations. Concerning the role of ACF, it consists in promoting cultural variety and knowledge about the art as well as in announcing significant art in Greece and from Greece.

Question: What are the main focuses of ACF?
Apostolidou: The name of the foundation itself formulates already the responsibility to be involved for cultural interests. This contains at first all areas of culture, all parts of the arts and extraordinary expression forms of social life. We are open for all areas of culture and try to link up existing activities to allow new views. Indeed, because of personal interest and for strategically reasons, nevertheless a special focus lies on the mediation of fine art. Our assignments can be controlled and forced better over this line. Literature readings, music, dance and theatre complement our program. Furthermore we are willing to  co-operate for cultural activities of local authority districts and companies. We like to be in contact with galleries and collectors. With pleasure we exert ourselves for the objective interests of artists. This approach is especially suitable to link cultural, social and intellectual interests.

Question: Which is the practical use that do you see subsequently of such synergy effects?
Safiriou: L’art pour l’art is absolutely necessary, because mind and soul want to be able to relax. This should be immanent, in any case, of every art. However, in addition, we see art as a practical instrument of philosophy, to give sense (!) to our life. We have to imagine, that art is the only area in which science can be freely run. We are interesting in artistic research as contributions to individual psychology, to ethics and to utopia. An architecture as a living space, e.g.,  and the integration in town planning and landscape planning,  is nowadays an area where is highest state of emergency and where totally thinking and working is absolutely necessary.

Question: ACF disposes of relatively big exhibition floor spaces and more attached space. For what needs ACF has to be so self-sufficiently?
Apostolidou: It is one of the aims of ACF to led artists real, virtual and spiritual space where they can show their artwork and where it can be valued according to her own aesthetics without having to pretend. This was and is one more one of the main functions of the exhibition hall and the other spaces.

Question: How is the financial position of ACF?
Apostolidou: ACF is a non-profit private foundation. This means, our work is not profit-oriented, possible profits are used exclusively for foundation purposes. ACF undertakes all activities from the own strength and therefore private and public sponsorship is necessary and very welcomed. A municipal or state sponsorship or participation does not exist at all till today. For this reason ACF is independent and we are free in our decisions. Nevertheless, a support from the European Community would make sense and would become very helpfully to fulfil our pan-european and international targets.

Question: Which special performances does ACF offer additional to the art and cultural program?
Apostolidou: ACF publishes own publications, books, catalogues and posters. Additional and in co-operation ArtForum Edition publishes graphics and multiples of selected artists. ACF has a library system for research purposes at the seat of the foundation, as well as at the contact offices. ACF is a partner for private and institutional collectors to whom we can give assistance in collaboration with specialists in questions of the art market, for conservation, technical analysis, art historical problems and authenticity. As a partner of artists we consult objectively further approach and we coordinate documentation and inventory. We can also be responsible for treatment, care, publication and utilisation of art estates of antiquities up to contemporary art.
ACF also maintains good relations with Greek publishing companies and can arrange contacts for writers. In the same way ACF is a partner for foreign music and theatre ensembles coming to Greece and the neighbour countries. An area for which we like to do more in the very future will be cinematography.

Question: How do you see the situation of Greek literature today?
Apostolidou: There are great Greek authors, prominent lyricists. However, the young authors have fewer chances outside Greece. This has possibly to do with narrative forms, which are not simply, can be mediated to most of the audience. On the other hand, the phenomenon has to be ascertained, for Italy e.g. the Melanese publisher Inge Feltrinelli have pointed out, that the origin of the authors is not of big importance. Attributes like “German” and “Italian” or “Greek” and “English” really do not exist anymore in today’s literature. Last but not least, personality is necessary for success, but however, indeed, there are cultural differences also in the reception.

Question: Does sport not replace increasingly the role from art and culture in the favour of the people?
Apostolidou: First of all, sport is an essential part of the culture and, secondly,  artists deal for a long time in an analytic way with this phenomenon. In this sense sport activities of course also belong to our assignment. The Greeks are keen on sport, they have create  sport as a cultural thing. The resumption of the Olympic games in 1896 was financed to a third part from the private pockets of the people, which were not quite rich.
A great support came also from wealthy people of the Greek community, living in  Alexandria, Egypt. It is to be seen with joy how Greece and the Greeks have shown their  capacity and organisation talent with the Olympic Games in 2004 and the football European championship as well. This has delivered an important contribution to the cultural self-confidence of Greeks today all over the world. Nevertheless, it is a pity that, although the international Olympic committee designate the environmental care as columns of the Olympic ideas, the responsible managers have done only very little for this.

Question: Did it belong to the concept from the beginning of ACF to include also art in the program from neighbour-countries and international art beside the focus on contemporary art from Greece? On which considerations this decision is based?
Safiriou:In my opinion the cultural bottom is especially fertile in these regions which dispose of a great heritage  and which has been offside for longer time because of political and economic reasons. This is in culture not more differently than in agriculture. However, it requires special care.

Question: Which politic-cultural aims do you pursue and how do you see the possibilities of ACF?
Safiriou: There will be no lasting peace, as long as mistrust remains the prevailing and everything edging out norm. Cultural ignorance is the mostly incriminating factor which sows mistrust between us and which can lead to war. The increasing efforts towards a cleaner and greener planet lead to nothing,  if we will destroy at the same time the human achievements which are contemptuous foreign to us. It is not enough giving disaster relief and economic support to the people, but to refuse her aesthetic needs, however, only because these are different from our needs.

Apostolidou and Safiriou are members of the board.

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Protect yourself, that will protect us all.
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Art and culture as a main contribution to democracy

Artforum Culture Foundation is an independent non-profit organisation (NPO) running for more than two decades in Greece, other European countries and globally. In cooperation with art historians, curators, collectors, gallery owners and museum experts, the board of trustees is responsible for the strategic planning to fulfil mayor targets and services. Members of the board are appointed to set the policies of the organization. Under the doctrine of collective responsibility, the entire board is liable for the organization's activities. Our main mission is dedicated to the promotion of art and culture. Giving things significance contributes to the sense of life. Everything that humans freely design, form or express in pictures serves a meaningful whole. We would like to support those creators. More practically we to built up a growing up collection of Greek and international art. We like to cooperate with collectors, artists and their estates. Donations and loans are welcome. The foundation is also involved in researching for these art works. The promotion of art and culture has to be done in own projects as well as in cooperations with other institutions and organizations.

It is our conviction that support of art and culture can be an important contribution to promote and to get freedom, peace and prosperity.