Events | Student Council zu "The Political Mandate of the Arts" – mit Myriam Boulos

Online | 13. Dezember 2023

Online Interview | 12:00 Uhr (PT)

Gemeinsam mit dem Wende Museum und dublab lädt das Thomas Mann House ein zum neunten Student Council Interview in unserer monatlichen virtuellen Programmreihe über Kunst und Politik in Zeiten der Krise. Die Freiheit der Kunst ist ein Gebot jeder Demokratie. Aber macht diese Freiheit die Kunst belanglos? Spielt die Kunst eine Rolle bei der Behandlung sozialer Fragen, bei der Förderung sozialer Gerechtigkeit oder bei der Verteidigung der Demokratie, wenn diese unter Druck gerät? Kurzum: Hat die Kunst ein politisches Mandat und welche Rolle spielt sie in geschwächten Demokratien?

*Diese Veranstaltung findet in englischer Sprache statt*

The Student Council consists of a team of highly engaged, talented, and diverse high school, undergraduate, and graduate students who invite prominent guest speakers to discuss topics relating to art, culture, politics, and society. In conversation with visual artists, musicians, dancers, writers, theater and filmmakers, cultural critics, curators, and others, the students will explore how the arts can make a difference in times of social and political crisis, on what social issues they can give new impulses, how they can help shape local communities, and how the alleged freedom and autonomy of the arts might impede or help the arts in terms of social and political significance.

December speaker

Myriam Boulos was born in 1992 in Lebanon. At the age of sixteen, she started to use her camera to get closer to reality. She graduated with a master’s degree in photography from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in 2015. She has taken part in both national and international collective exhibitions, including Close Enough at ICP, NY; Infinite Identities at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam; and Troisième Biennale des Photographes du Monde Arabe, at l’Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris. Her work has been published in Aperture, FOAM, Time, GQ Middle East, Vogue Arabia, and Vanity Fair France, among other publications. In 2020 Myriam co-founded and became the photo editor of Al Hayya, a bilingual magazine that publishes literary and visual content on the works, interests and strife of women in her region. In 2021 she joined Magnum as a nominee. Her book, What’s ours, was published in November 2023 by Aperture.


Watch our previous interview with special guest Chief Curator and Director of Programming at the Wende Museum, Joes Segal, that took place in person in Los Angeles.

Previous guests on the show were David Horvitz, Ebow, Ghayath Almadhoun, Heidi Duckler, Steven D. Lavine, Cauleen Smith, Sonali Kolhatkar, Amanda Beech, Sasha Razor, Elizabeth Ai, and Joes Segal. You can watch previous episodes on YouTube, listen to the recordings on dublab radio, or read our students' recap on the Thomas Mann House blog.


Meet the Student Council

Amy Cabrales is a First-Generation third-year undergraduate student at UCLA, studying Sociology, Anthropology, and the Russian Language. She is a Mexican-American, Los Angeles native born in Lynwood, California. Her career interests include museum work, social science research, and teaching English abroad in a Russian-speaking country.

Meghana Halbe is a first-year student at the University of Chicago studying Public Policy. She is from Los Angeles, California and her interests include politics, music, and history. She plans to pursue law school in the future and work in government.

Emma Larson graduated from Williams College in 2021 with degrees in History and Russian, and is currently teaching English in Kazakhstan with the Fulbright Program. Emma hopes to use the future of her professional and academic career to answer important questions about the entirety of the post-Soviet world.

Gianna Machera is currently a junior at Culver City High School. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, however she spends most of her holidays and summer traveling various places. She joined the council in 2022 and has absolutely loved the experience and growth she has had so far. She is very excited to see what the next year entails and feels privileged to be part of the council once again.

Natalie McDonald, a 2019 graduate of Pomona College (Claremont, CA), is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in History at California State University, Northridge. Her academic work focuses on migration, citizenship, empire & memory in twentieth-century Europe. Natalie plans to undertake doctoral studies in International/Global History within the next couple years.

Zora Nelson is a current second year undergraduate student at New York University, where she is studying Harp Performance and plans to also pursue Media, Culture, and Communications and Public Policy. As an east coaster, born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she discovered the Wende Museum in the summer of 2022 and is honored to be a part of the council. With a passion for writing, Zora sees a future in storytelling to promote social justice.

Anya Nyman is a current sophomore at Scripps College (Claremont, CA), currently studying History and Africana Studies. She joined the Wende student council in 2023 and is excited to add to the work the council has already done. Her academic interests include anticolonialism, twentieth-century West and Central African history, and international histories of and from the Global South.

Lexi Tooley is a current freshman at Howard University majoring in Art History and Political Science, and minoring in Chinese Language and Culture. She is originally from Los Angeles, California, and has been working with the Wende museum for the past year. She looks forward to continuing the search for truth through these student panels, as well as through learning about and from the curated art currently on display at the Wende.

The event series is a collaboration with the Wende Museum Culver City, dublab and the Thomas Mann House Los Angeles.