Tony Haynes (Co- founder, Grand Union)

25.08.2011 - Interview conducted by Jason Dudhee

Q. how relevant is art as a form of cultural diplomacy?

A. I’m not sure what the context would be, obviously as an artist I think art is a supreme form of human communication, I kind of feel about art like some people feel about religion,  I’m not too sure what its role might be in cd as I’m not entirely sure what CD actually means or entails. I’d imagine that in a conference like this it has many different meanings and importances for different people. But obviously art is central to culture, so as a result it must be important to cultural exchanges, I think music in particular, and other abstract forms like dance, are easier ways of communicating in diplomatic relations that language.

Q.  How do you think art exchange can foster/encourage future multiculturalism?

A. I don’t see how there can be multiculturalism without art exchanges, I think they lead. Music in particular being more abstract is more likely to be able to communicate emotional unity or/and common feeling than trying to talk in languages when one person scarcely understands what the other is saying! I would also put it the other way, for someone interested in other cultures and the way that people live, behave and interact, I would have thought that you couldn’t be an artist without having a multicultural sensibility and it does surprise me that people do keep their cultures in limited uni-cultural categories.

Thank you very much for your time.