Contemporary artists, particularly those in the visual arts, seem more politically inspired and committed than ever. At the same time, the arts are regularly used by policymakers as an instrument to achieve a variety of social, economic and political goals, from promoting social cohesion in underprivileged neighborhoods to raising the profile of the Netherlands as a private company or stimulating tourism. Have the arts become a plaything of policy makers, or do they in fact contribute to criticism and resistance against the dominant government policy? Or have artists become a kind of social worker?
Pieter Bots (ASCA PhD), Lieven de Cauter (associate professor of architectural theory, KU Leuven), Karin Christof (ASCA PhD), Christine Delhaye (associate professor of cultural sociology, CW UvA), René Gabriëls (associate professor of philosophy, Maastricht University), Rudi Laermans (professor of sociology, KU Leuven), Thijs Lijster (associate professor of cultural philosophy, RU Groningen)
Rob van der Laarse (Chair, Department of Cultural Studies and Westerbork Professor, UvA/VU)