Brad Evans, New York Times
What’s required is a much more affirmative understanding of resistance, which is
capable of producing an alterative and creative image of thought to the ones that
continue to annihilate people on a daily basis. ...
To that end ... there is a world to be gained by recognizing the humanity of the arts.
Art is the ethical space where we encounter the pain of others and truly reflect on
its significance to a shared human community. Art is a direct and imaginative
response to the traumas of suffering. It refuses an image of the world that is
presented to us as catastrophically fated. Art thus places itself on the side of life,
as it directly resists the rituals of death and destruction. Indeed, as we confront
more and more devastating spectacles of violence on a daily basis, it is
with the arts that we truly enter into those most precious and fragile of ethical bonds
that foreground the importance of love, compassion and human togetherness. ...
Addition to the above, following its original posting:
[JB: A personal note: In the late 80s, when Poland was still under communist control (probably not as complete as the CCCP politbureau thought it up to be), I had the privilege to serve as a U.S. diplomat in Krakow, an honor joined with the pleasure of admiring the above Leonardo da Vinci painting on numerous occasions [no, no, not on US gov time :)] in this charming, cultivated southern Polish city's Muzeum Ksiazat Czartoryskich. A perceptive Facebook comment on the above entry on "Humans is Hard Time" noted the "Polish government buys art collection including a da Vinci ..." (To provide more details for the interested reader on this issue, I quote from an article, rather than from the Facebook comment itself). Do note, however, that the krakow.info entry, "Lady with an Ermine, Leonardo's Masterpiece in Krakow," does not mention the above-cited purchase.]