Is Democracy Dying?

War is never a good thing; its impact is always catastrophic no matter what the purpose is, and yet the warring parties still view war as a “solution”. To us, the main reason why the world still witnesses war is because we humans are still territorial beings. The territory itself is much more than just geographical; it stretches to politics, economy, technology, and religion. When any territory is felt threatened, people respond in many ways, and often irrationally. So we agree with John Steinbeck, one of the greats in American literature, who once said,”All war is a symptom of man’s failure as a thinking animal.”

Following the end of the Cold War in the 1990s, globalization seemed to be embraced as the way to world peace. Along with it, democracy and sense of freedom seemed to flourish everywhere. Today, democracy is still at center stage, but it is viewed and practiced as a mechanism that divides rather than unites people. Democracy respects and upholds diversity within the frame of unity. So if the frame transforms into disunity, is democracy still relevant to our lives?

World War III

The world had experienced terrible tragedies in the past, from bilateral & multilateral wars, dictatorship to genocide. But humans never seem to learn from those devastating pains.

Today, the world is facing so many issues that could trigger even bigger disaster: racism, trade war and protectionism, extreme ideologies, terrorism, global warming, and immigrants. So, how near is the world war 3, really?

Graffiti and Mural

Arts in its all forms (such as performing, visual, street and literature) is perhaps too broad of a subject to discuss, not to mention the discussion on which of the cultural creation that can be taken as arts. So let’s start again with particular forms that we see everyday: graffiti and mural. If we look at the two photos below, which one is which? Is either a form of art? Or both are?

Graffiti and Mural Photo 1

Graffiti and Mural Photo 2

What is Art’s role in Society today?

It has long been taken for granted that Art is present in all aspects of human activity and culture. That Art has roles in society. One role of Art is that Art expresses the emotions and struggles of the society it exists within, and inspires society to cope and even overcome.

But increasingly in some corners of global society we see that society feels that Art has become distant from every day life, that people begin to feel that Art no longer inspires them and has nothing to do with their real, every day lives. Are we okay with this?

So what is the role of Art in today’s society? Do we really need Art to inspire us in our daily lives? What works and objects do we consider to be Art, and does Art still have a place in today’s “modern”, cosmopolitan World?

illustration by Bintang Perkasa

Sovereignty and (Humanitarian) Intervention

Sovereignty basically is the rightful status of any nation to govern themselves, while Humanitarian Intervention is an act of interfering with another nation’s (or someone else’s) affairs in the name of Humanity.

Both have solid grounds, and are recognized as the ideals the world should uphold; but in particular cases, one of the examples is genocide/ethnic cleansing, both ideals are “at war” trying to override each other. We know whose side we’re on when the battle is between good and evil, but how about when the battle is between good and good?