Global Governance Centre
01 June 2022

Art and Power in International Relations

Watch our recent talk with Julia Bethwaite, from Tampere University, on the role of art in international relations and world politics.

The Global Governance Centre hosted a talk on 25 April 2022 on the role of art in international relations and world politics. 

How are art and power intertwined and what role does art play in international relations and world politics?

In her talk, Julia Bethwaite, visiting fellow with the Global Governance Centre, discussed these topics, focusing on central art institutions such as the Venice Biennale and fine art museums. Studying influential art institutions can reveal concealed power dynamics concerning specific nation-states as well as international and transnational realms. It can illustrate how symbolic power operates and how elites, while utilizing the field of art, take positions across different fields and national borders. The concept of heteronomy offers a tool to capture and make sense of various spaces that bring together multiple fields. .

Many Russian high-profile business tycoons have been supporting art through their art foundations outside Russia, while other representatives of the oligarchic elite have been directly involved with Russia’s representation on major international art platforms such as the Venice Biennale. Taking positions in such heteronomous settings, actors struggle for power and aim to legitimize their positions by accumulating and converting capital of different types.

Watch the video of the event below.