For a couple of posts now I’ve relayed my belief about the power and value of beauty. Because we respond to it in multiple ways (rational, emotional, spiritual), understanding, analyzing, and sharing beauty is something that can be a source of interesting and emotionally-bonding conversations with others. Almost every time I mention the topic of this blog, people can relate. It may take a few minutes to explain the nature of the discussions we share, but then it clicks and people’s reactions start flowing.
The University of Bristol’s School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies is hosting a conference that touches on the bonding power of beauty, aiming to bring to together post-graduate students to share research on “contested meanings of art and aesthetics and to explore art in different cultures and historical settings.” This conference would sound like any other gathering of art historians if not for the fact that they are gathering discuss beauty in the context of international relations. The conference is even called Beauty will Save the World. The view here is that progress in international relations need not be relegated to the rational and scientific realms alone but that ‘social reality is continuously constructed by and in art, language and social interactions.” (University of Bristol Press release)
Maybe if we all spent a bit more time discussing the value of beauty, art and aesthetics with our colleagues and friends, we can help develop a better understanding of one another and even mend a few fences as well.