Arts Rights Justice

Theatre director, festival director, actor and currently Director of the TPAM performing arts meeting in Japan,  Hiromi Maruoka reflects on the earthquake, the nuclear danger and the role of art and its use in critical situations.


"As far as I know, at least among Japanese and European performing arts

professionals, in recent years, concerns about reduction of public support for art

due to the economic crisis and political reactionism have been shared, and such

themes as the raison d'être of art or what art can do have been discussed. I do

not intend to express doubt about the necessity of these discussions at all, but I

think there are assumptions that art might not be able to survive or that we

might not be able to explain why art should exist if art cannot do anything are

in the background of these questions. What I would like to say here is, as a

number of forerunners have said, that art always exists no matter how bad

situations are. What art can do or to what art can contribute are not questions

about the condition of art but questions about what benefits society can draw

from art. I would like to reaffirm again here that art itself always exists and the

fact that art exists as art is enough for art...."


"Society cannot continue to exist without renewing itself, but an opportunity to

renew itself does not exist inside society itself. It seems that society rarely

explicitly expresses necessity of art, because society tends to behave as if it is

autonomously sufficient, in other words, as if it does not need 'outside'. However,

fundamentally, society needs art for its own survival..."


A moving response to all of us who are asking Japanese colleagues, "What can we do?"

Tags: Fukushima, Japan, art, earthquake, of, role

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Hiromi Maruoka's article was written for and is posted on "Weekly@Arts Management" that Korea Arts Management Service publishes (in Korean, and PDF in Japanese and English):


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