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Ethical Manifesto of Afran
Art goes beyond the surface
We are aware that
modern society is built upon an extraordinary achievement - that of democracy, power to the people;
citizens in democratic countries worldwide have the opportunity to choose their political representatives through the expression of their vote;
democracy and freedom go hand in hand, and thanks to this marvelous combination, people can access information that was unthinkable to have at their fingertips just a few decades ago, enabling them to make crucial decisions that concern their own lives and the lives of others;
internet, social networks, and smartphones have revolutionized our access to information at an incredible speed, both in terms of quantity and velocity.
(59th Venice Biennale - National Pavilion of Cameroon)
if the information we have access to is false or manipulated, what direction the decisions that will influence our lives and the lives of others will take. Who will control that information, whether it be a centralized or dominant power or a "rogue actor" who captivates the public? What influence will it have on the choices of individuals?
What defense mechanisms can citizens develop to navigate through an immense sea of news, information, and knowledge, knowing how to distinguish the true from the false, genuine content from the manipulated?
We believe that
art is the most intriguing tool for analyzing this new phase of humanity, where the sacred concepts of democracy and freedom risk suffering the dire fates imagined by George Orwell in 1948. Paradoxically, the utmost freedom of writing and expression, disseminated in various ways, controlled or free, without being able to guarantee the absolute quality of the content, its truthfulness, is a double-edged sword that can lead to unpredictable consequences in people's lives (pushing them towards dangerous choices fueled by skillful fake news) or the destinies of entire democracies, where candidates most adept at managing the new frontier of information will be preferred over those most competent in governing a country.
News proliferates everywhere like mushrooms, arising, spreading, and dying in the blink of an eye, but often leaving an indelible mark in uncontrollable and unforeseeable ways, assuming a power now stronger than that of weapons. People are often so accustomed to excessive information that they constantly crave more, thirsting feverishly for new news, whether it be good, bad, beautiful, ugly, macabre, true, or false.
We want to take action
to sensitize people, guiding their attention to the profound meaning of knowledge, the undeniable value of truth in news, storytelling, and information. Not an absolute truth in the exact sense, but a truth expressed with an ethical attitude of absolute integrity. We'll use art as an emotional instrument, impactful in arousing new reflections, breaking established routines that stifle critical thinking, an essential tool for each of us to navigate with ease amid the daily media bombardment we face.
We invite people never to settle for what floats on the surface but to immerse themselves in the sea of information until they reach the true profound meaning they bear, dismantling every doubtful and unreliable aspect.
ARTantide Gallery and Afran are determined to fight with all their might for a world where knowledge becomes more and more the prerogative of people, without diminishing the wonder of emotions but without succumbing to the submission induced by ignorance or manipulated knowledge.
Last Museal Projects
2023 | L'arte può rompere le scatole - performance, GAM of Turin, Italy
2023 | MEGA MIPS - Journeys of Art and Spirituality, Catholic University of Milan, Italy
2022 | The Times of the Chimeras. 59th Venice Biennale, Cameroon National Pavilion