Interview with jury member Lamya Kaddor

© Dominik Asbach

Islamic studies scholar and jury member Lamya Kaddor on her motives for contributing to The Power of the Arts and the need to foster the preservation of social diversity in today’s times.

What moved you to become part of the jury at The Power of the Arts?

It is my conviction that integration can also be expressed in art and culture, for it is both versatile and individual – just like art itself. That is the reason I accepted the invitation to participate in the jury.

How do you envision a society that is ready for the future?

The ideal society of the future will only be viable if it lives (out) democratic values like gender equality, freedom of expression, artistic liberty, and freedom of religion. Open and free societies will be ready for the future when they identify diversity as an important element for coexistence.

Why do we as a society need to be striving for a new “We” now, of all times?

We find ourselves in times where right-wing forces – social and political alike – are growing in strength and propagating a type of homogeneity that is neither real nor desirable.

The Power of the Arts advocates for the creation of a new “We” – how do you picture this new “We”?

We live in an open, modern society that is becoming increasingly diverse. At the same time, this society characterized by globalization and digital revolution, also has forces growing in it that oppose such development and advancement, because they feel threatened by it in the widest variety of ways. That is why diversity should represent a central component to a “new us”.

Why are the arts so important for creating the opportunity for inclusion in society?

With the arts, access to inclusion and inclusion itself are not associated with any prerequisites other than an artistic interest and the will to fortify solidarity in our society through art.

You’ve been active in various issues. Which issue is particularly close to your heart?

Solidarity in our society is particularly close to my heart. The arts and engagement in civil society can achieve much more than politics alone.