CULTURE AND DEMOCRACY – CLARIFICATION OF CONCEPTS
Text topic: Culture and Democracy - 50 Years of the Review Kultura
Text author: Зоран Аврамовић
This paper deals with the conceptual and historical relationship between culture and (non) democracy. The notion of culture is understood in the wider (way of the whole life of one nation) and narrower (artistic-creative) sense. As a system that does not prevent freedom of thought, creation and action, democracy represents the expansion of freedom in the artistic field of culture. In every system of public authorities and social relations, culture and art face certain challenges. The search for an art form, which by definition is an artistic gift, is often caught in grip of judicial obstacles. In non-democratic systems, the artist responds with his work to the external pressure of power. The political framework is a challenge for his/her creativity. In democratic societies and countries, the artist and his/her work face the mediators, which are cultural-market organizations and private and public institutions that do (or do not) open up a way to audiences. These brokers have the opportunity to accept or not accept artistic work for reasons of aesthetic judgement, market success or dislike towards the author. Also, the tastes of artistic audiences are different, so they can accept or protest against an artwork. The latest phenomenon is a democratization of culture in digital technology. The experience of cultural and artistic creativity in these two forms of public authority and social relations shows that art, as part of the cultural segment of a society, is not offered a safe haven but constant excitement, being caught in the relations among artist-work-audience-states. In that sense, one must always bear in mind that the democratization of culture can well take place in the institutional field, but not in the creative one. Great creators and their works do not produce any system of public authority, but offer their gift, talent, motivation, imagination and knowledge.