We live in extraordinary times and Tim Prentki and David Oddie felt that Indra should have a clear manifesto regarding the principles the Indra Congress stands for. Here is a draft copy of the manifesto. Please send comments to indracongress:hotmail.co.uk.
The Indra Congress Manifesto
The Indra Congress is inspired by the extraordinary metaphor of Indra’s Net, a network of precious pearls and jewels, which is interdependent and mutually supportive. Through the eyes of Indra, our world is a beautiful, unique and subtly balanced phenomenon, which has evolved over millennia. The Earth’s diversity of interdependent life and natural forms may be unique in a bleak and seemingly endless universe. The emergence of humanity brings awareness and understanding of this wonder and the capacity to nurture and care for each other and the life support systems upon which we all depend.
That awareness brings power, which may be abused through greed, hatred and ignorance. The unbridled quest for dominance over people and planet provokes conflict, which is a source of profound distress to many and, increasingly, a threat to the Earth’s ability to sustain itself. Indra exists to support people in using the arts as a means of conflict transformation at personal, social, cultural and planetary levels. This support is offered within the framework of the following principles:
- No discrimination shall be tolerated between individuals or groups on the grounds of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality or religion;
- All people are entitled to access the forms of art of their choosing, both as art-makers and art audiences/spectators;
- The basis of our work is creative dialogue, by which we mean the right of both parties to express thoughts and feelings freely and to be heard respectfully;
- We seek to promote those artistic practices that enable the discovery of the self in the other and the other in the self; Our work builds on an understanding of the concept of our plural identities, which illustrates our overlapping humanity and our unique diversity;
- We are looking to create partnerships with organisations that share our social democratic values and are alike in wishing to improve the quality of lives blighted by the spread of uncontrolled, de-regulated corporate power (neoliberalism), obsessive nationalism and fascism in all its forms;
- We emphasise the need for people, groups and organisations, working in these related fields of activity, to see each other less as competitors but more as collaborators, who recognise that the serious threats to the well- being of people and planet will require the diverse talents of us all;
- We seek to use the unique language of the arts to make connections and links between pressing social and political priorities, recognising that issues of gender, race, inequality, sexuality, global warming, immigration etc. are interlinked and must not be ‘walled off’ and played against each other;
- We believe that all human beings have the potential, provided they have the opportunity, to be artists. Indra seeks to put the means of artistry into the hands of any who wish to explore their creativity in order to achieve agency; to transform themselves from the objects into the subjects of their development;
- Indra respects all religious faiths and humanist traditions that subscribe to the Golden Rule: ‘Do not do to others what you would not have them do to you’. Indra is motivated by compassion, creativity and the search for justice – ‘love in action;’
- Given the above, Indra rejects policies, governments and corporations that endorse by activity or complicity inequalities and injustices between peoples whether inter- or intra-national. We therefore strive to remove the barriers and borders that separate, be these material or metaphorical.