The Greco-Roman era has abundantly revealed that the Arts is capable of achieving the unachievable. And that when that things threaten to fall apart, as espoused by W. B. Yeats in ‘second coming’, the Arts can reliably steady them.
From time immemorial, the Arts with its subtle tool, has sustained civilizations, promoted cultures, calmed frayed nerves and mitigated conflicts. Besides, it connects the past with the present with a view to preempting the future for a habitable society.
It is a known fact that what diplomatic ties, sanctions and summits have been unable to achieve globally, the arts and culture has attained in a way which leaves many perpetually wondering.
Evidences abound in classical works and plays written by phenomenal writers that the operational tools of the arts and culture have continually humanized the world from its ogre outlook.
The consummate English playwright and Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice comes handy here as a good reference to the effect of Arts and Culture in curbing conflicts and eroding misconceptions.
The work eternally runs a crisp commentary on the nugatory toga identified with anti-Semitism.
By all dramatic standards, the play imbibes the tenet of the Arts as a work not for an age, but all ages.
Also, in Africa, Nigeria’s famous playwright, essayist, literary critic and social commentator, Professor Wole Soyinka in the play “The trial of brother Jero and Sequel’, Jero’s metamorphosis’, lampoons the societal vices promoted by bad governance.
The work satirizes in a distinguished manner with a view to correcting ills prevalent in Nigeria and Africa in general.
Basically, the Arts like beauty cannot be said to have a perfect face. But its form which is largely refined, sincere and deep continually makes the society a better place.
One cannot detach the unique theatrics of Sophocles, Aristophanes and Aeschylus in making the classics a reverence that it is today.
Specifically, the politics of Arts and Culture is in the realm of entertainment, correction and education. The three which are the tripod upon which the Arts is firmly rooted, have made it the beautiful bride of all countries of the world desirous of peace and prosperity.
The politics of Arts and culture, if properly deployed, can take the people to the ‘Utopian’ mountain top and continually reach out to them. However, its politics must be rooted in deep story interpreted by good role interpreters with themes having universal coloration.
Indeed, the Arts and Culture will fail to achieve set objectives when uninspiring stories are being told and the dramatists are largely mediocrity inclined.
In curtailing and apprehending fresh challenges like terrorism, corruption, racism, climate change etc that are haunting countries of the world, the Arts must be soaked in deep contemplation with stories rich in narration, elegant in language and linear in structure.
The preemptive nature of Arts and culture comes more alive through its prognostic tool which goes far into the future to situate the past in shaping the present. Many theatre lovers cannot forget in a hurry the impact of the film ‘Sometimes in April’ on the cultural psyche of the Rwandans in unveiling the futility of genocide.
Like an elder who has seen it all with evidences being gray hair, things cannot but fall like a pack of cards when the Arts and culture decides to halt its subtle and firm politics in stemming the tide of global conflicts and acrimony.
Great writers like Anton Chekhov, Sembene Ousmane, Wole Soyinka, Tartuffe, Platus, Terence, Seneca, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Nicholas Gogol, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Chinua Achebe, Toni Morrison, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Christopher Marlowe, Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway among numerous others, have through their literary pieces and theatrics proven the unrivaled strength of the Arts in arresting ugly situations.
Even when the Arts deploy its entertaining tool heavily sprinkled in humor, there is always a terse message underlying such performance. Of course, the Arts spank when necessary but quickly provide a soothing balm in order to deepen its intended message(s).
For years, we have seen, watched, told and heard of how the arts has gallantly provided succor when none was forthcoming.
Besides, it has persistently removed the hurdles plaguing social interaction with its sustainable approach.
According to a revered drama lecturer, Professor Biodun Jeyifo, the Arts is a ‘truthful lie’. The lie the Arts gives on the stage is not one which calls blue black or white black. It is an enactment of social realities on the stage through the process of verisimilitude. It is neither pretentious nor insincere.
And when the Arts go to work as stressed earlier everything will fall into place no matter its depth or level of dislocation.