Yaron Lifschitz, CEO of the Brisbane based circus company, Circa, challenges the traditional funding paradigm by demanding to open up the funding pool to anyone who can compete on merit. We publish Lifschitz’s unedited speech at the Currency House Creativity and Business Breakfast in Sydney on November 30, 2016, because we find it inspiring and internationally relevant.
Over the past few months the world turned colder and less hospitable. Brexit, the rise of fundamentalisms both east and west, the election of Trump. Suddenly things I believe in seem out of key with the times. Plurality, diversity, compromise, compassion now appear to belong to another, quainter era – a distant empire of decency. Except that they are needed more then ever now. There is a pressing urgency to ask more fearless questions, debate more savagely unpleasant truths and explore our own contradictions more robustly. Everyone agrees our civic discourse; with its social media, 24 hour news cycles and veneration of the individual’s rights rather than their responsibilities is far from healthy. And as an artist, company leader and a festival director, it is beholden on me to respond. Art may not solve problems but, as Susan Sontag notes, it can wear them out. Art lifts our species, puts us in touch with our gods, encodes our memories and harnesses the collective imagination ...
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