Cartoon by Lectrr from Belgium, Charlie Hebdo; additional information: "The Role of Political Cartoonists in Media - Interview with Belgian Cartoonist Lectrr"
“Iconoclasm is when we know what is happening in the act of breaking and what the motivations for what appears as a clear project of destruction are; iconoclash, is when one does not know, one hesitates, one is troubled by an action for which there is no way to know, without further enquiry, whether it is destructive or constructive. (, Curator's Concept of Iconoclash)
The latest waves of terrorism, from attacks on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris to the damaging of antiquities in the Middle East, have highlighted both an ideological conflict and the central role of imagery. Terrorists have orchestrated their acts of destruction to stage their beliefs of justice, truth and will for political order. Their propaganda attracts followers from all over the world and subjugates and abuses human beings over wide territories. Their image war contests what we hold to be universal values such as the freedom of artistic expression and the integrity of cultural heritage.
These ongoing forms of destruction and terror demand a review of truth and falsity of values in both a reflective and self-reflective mode. The Washington branch of EUNIC aims to approach this disturbing confrontation in four chapters:
- Satire Between the Freedom of Expression and the Freedom of Religion - When Art Challenges What Fundamentalists Insist On
- Picture Policy - Production and Destruction of Imagery by Islamist Extremists
- Trafficking Cultural Materials - Appropriation of a Common Proprietorship
EUNIC engages in this research with the goal of preparing people working in the field of external relations for an informed dialogue and for international cooperation to help break the perpetual cycle of terror and trauma.