By Melannie Bonilla Montero – Student of International Relations
Art and cultural expression can be incredibly powerful tools and can help translate complex political ideas into more accessible and engaging ways (De Cicco, 2017). There cannot be any change without cultural change, as a matter of fact, culture needs to change first. There are not established politics because the people are there, that is the way to make ourselves heard, without the need to make it a problem. Culture implies consideration of origin. If there is something that differentiates us as a species (human beings), it is our ability to create tools to communicate from the beginning, from the separation between man and nature, that is when the transformation towards its benefit begins when it differs from it. Little by little, awareness of their difference and their possibilities is being acquired and thus certain characteristics of the culture emerge.
Any decision by politicians has a significant impact on our daily life. Cultural expression cannot be apolitical, in fact it is a knowledge that we cannot get rid of by the society in which we live since it is not something external to our day to day. The attitude that citizens assume influences our environment, even when it is pretended to be apolitical. Within our society and in the way we have been educated we are involved, willingly or not, with different issues.
The general population, but mainly young people, are increasingly distancing themselves from “traditional” political participation, but this has to do with the way in which democracy is being transmitted. This is where culture comes into play, it is important to listen to society through culture because political participation is not lost in society, what happens is that more social movements that go beyond traditional political structures join and these have as their main focus the youth and the current social problems that society is facing that are transmitted through culture. De Ciccio (2017) mentions that " one of the reasons we are losing on many levels around issues like climate change, women's issues, racial equality, etc. is because we haven't taken on the role of culture, we haven't made space for that. The cultural narratives are also outdated, they don't reflect the reality".
Cultural expressions mean exploring our own identity, the cultural identity, socioeconomic status, and gender issues, among other different topics. This is why many political parties seek to take a partisan character because it is a way of incorporating their demands into the legislative agenda. So, does politics go hand in hand with culture? Because then, why is it necessary or almost mandatory that these demands be heard through political alignments? Learning from artists and cultural creators of diverse social movements as a means of building solidarity, stimulating creative connections, and facilitating mutual learning is essential to building a just society.
In a democracy, individuals do not always agree, but this is how ideas are allowed to keep running society ahead. Our system of government cannot function well without respect. A culture of free speech helps to productively strengthen our disagreements by simultaneously encouraging and challenging ideas that are different from our own. Our laws alone cannot create the culture we need in our democracy, that is why cultural expression is necessary and goes hand in hand with political terms.
It corresponds to us to go beyond our laws and realize this spirit of open and tolerant public discourse. A culture of free speech characterizes the level of tolerance that a society extends to individuals and their willingness to express different opinions. Our society needs strong laws and a strong culture that protects freedom of expression and cultural expression.
MOXIE es el Canal de ULACIT (www.ulacit.ac.cr), producido por y para los estudiantes universitarios, en alianza con el medio periodístico independiente Delfino.cr, con el propósito de brindarles un espacio para generar y difundir sus ideas. Se llama Moxie - que en inglés urbano significa tener la capacidad de enfrentar las dificultades con inteligencia, audacia y valentía - en honor a nuestros alumnos, cuyo “moxie” los caracteriza.
De Cicco, G. (2017, February 22). There can never be political change without cultural change. AWID. https://www.awid.org/news-and-analysis/there-can-never-be-political-change-without-cultural-change