Message from the Founders
‘Can a bird sing only the song it knows, or can it learn a new song?‘ Angela Carter.’Man is not immutable. Our greatest strength is our capacity for reflection and empathy, our ability to change, and thereby sing a new song. The artist has a duty to herself, to not only be honest but to approach her work with humility and with love. Creating new songs, perhaps changing the world, does not necessitate the violent overthrow of the old. Great songs can come from listening to our traditions and triangulating our respective positions. As Alan Bennett says: ‘it’s in the process of imitating the voices of others that one comes to learn the sound of one’s own.’ I believe in our human capacities, yet also in the mysteries that surround our existence, and in the value of our traditions. Moreover I believe we must protect the weak and vulnerable and use our gifts with wisdom and compassion. This is my vision for the Fellowship: a space where masters of different disciplines can meet and share and challenge themselves.Together we can create new narratives, weave new dreams, sing new songs.’
Alan J Lawson is a British artist living and working in Switzerland.
‘The medium through which we understand ourselves is both naturally and historically conditioned. It seems important to bear in mind that it is only in a dialogue between different disciplines that greater understanding and flourishing can be achieved. The Fellowship is thus designed to resist the temptations of specialization and open up the avenues that arise from perceiving one’s area in light of another. In an era in which technology is coming to be an ever greater dominant force, it appears clear that the arts and philosophy can neither afford to shun nor reject its resulting implications – the challenge is to conduct a quest for the most prolific points of contact.’
Jacob L Burda is a German Philosopher based in Oxford, United Kingdom.