News Online Symposium – Art and Humanity: What Is Possible? Day 3

Every Tuesday afternoon in May, join an international, multidisciplinary, and interactive online symposium on the relationship between art and humanitarian action.
Learn from and engage with leading experts from different fields.
Please note this online webinar is in English.

Register to our third online webinar:

Detailed Programme
Day 3, May 18th 2021- LOOKING


Three Arguments For (And Against) an Aesthetic of Suffering by Dominique Laleg 

The paper explores how aesthetic mediation of human suffering relates to humanitarianism. What are the contemporary ramifications of this question and what criticisms has aesthetics to face today?

Dominique Laleg holds a PhD from eikones – Center for the Theory and History of the Image at the University of Basel. He teaches at the Humboldt University of Berlin, the University of Vienna, the University of Basel, and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. He works on the theory and history of modern art, aesthetics and politics, and postcolonialism.



Toward a collaborative ethic of humanitarian cultural work by Marc Herbst

Toward a collaborative ethic of humanitarian cultural work, this presentation looks at the entanglement of the concept of contemporary art in disassociated systems that allow for what we name humanitarian crisis. It then points out ways in which artistic and culture work against such dissociation from both the distanced perspective (as an ‘audience’) and also from within crisis situations.

Marc Herbst’s research, cultural and publishing practice occurs at the margins of communities responsive to trauma and displacement. He is a co-editor of the the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest, has a PhD  from Goldsmiths’ Centre for Cultural Studies and is a Research Fellow at ProArts and Common in Oakland CA. He is currently editing a book eco-social entanglements of an insurrectionary communities.





Why a Chair? Artistic Gestures as Acts of Memory and Reconstruction by Dr. Isabelle de le Court 

This paper will examine how chairs as part of artistic interventions – by Daniel Berset, Doris Salcedo, Haris Pašović and Nada Sehnaoui – act as a metaphor of absence and memory in the process of social and physical reconstruction and mediate disruptive events experienced by the population of a neighbourhood, a city or a country. The chair embodies the absence, the invisible people and at the same time the social and human connection through the act of remembering collectively.

Dr. Isabelle de le Court is an art historian and independent scholar. She was Assistant Professor at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) in Beirut between 2013 and 2016. She is the author of Post-Traumatic Art in the City: between War and cultural Memory in Sarajevo and Beirut (London: Bloomsbury, 2020).


Collaborative Artwork Session with Gilles Furtwängler

During these 4 webinars, you will have the opportunity to participate in a collective artwork session with Swiss artist Gilles Furtwängler. Stay connected inbetween the second  and third session to follow his instructions on how to submit your raw material to be included in a following publication.

Graduated from the Art School of Lausanne (ECAL) in 2006, Gilles Furtwängler has since pursued a work based on communication.His mediums are reading, writing, performance, painting and graphic arts. Everything is put into shape for an objective and abstract communication,ironic and moral, definitely poetic.


Q&A Live Session:

For the final part of the webinar, our selection committee Pascal Hufschmid, Julie Enckell Julliard and Philippe Stoll have the opportunity to ask the speakers the questions the audience will have written during the talks. Keep yourself online for a final conversation between 6 leading experts in the last segment of the day.

The online symposium Art and Humanity: What Is Possible? is organised by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum (MICR), the Geneva Haute école d’art et de design and the International Committee of the Red Cross, in partnership with the Geneva Red Cross, on the occasion of the exhibition Concerned. 30 Artists on Humanitarian Issues on view at the MICR in Geneva from 27 April to 26 September 2021. It aims at creating links and exploring potential collaboration between art and culture and humanitarian action, two fields of expertise which seldomly interact with one another.

Concept and organisation

  • Julie Enckell Julliard, Director of Cultural Development, Geneva Haute école d’art et de design
  • Pascal Hufschmid, Director, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva
  • Philippe Stoll, Senior Communication Adviser, International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva


  • Pierre-Antoine Possa, Manager, Cultural Projects and Events, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum, Geneva

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