part 2:

Artists, art spaces and academies play equally significant roles in the production of cultural knowledge, with public and private patronage as a supporting and guiding force. However, there are complicated power dynamics at play between producers of knowledge and patrons of the arts. Existing public funding structures often serve governmental interests; these, in turn, create competing agendas, silos of arts activity and uncertainty during economic downturns. Private patronage can also be agenda--led and intertwined with corporate visibility or individuals’ personal interests and backgrounds. How do producers navigate power and patronage? How might patronage encourage more sustainable structures for the production, dissemination and reception of culture in the Middle East and its perception outside of the region? This panel will explore these issues from both an historical and a contemporary point of view, taking account of recent debates about cultural production and referencing power shifts across the Arab world. What would a revolution in arts patronage look like?

power, knowledge and patronage