Friday, June 1, 2012

Wajahat Ali on Cultural Diplomacy

The Determined Crusader: Interview with Playwright Wajahat Ali - Aslan Media

In an interview on his Domestic Crusaders play, Wajahat Ali linked artistic work to cultural diplomacy:

"EJ: The ethnic and racial stereotypes that are present in all cultures, but are extremely prominent in American culture, seem so daunting. Would you agree that the arts, music, film, visual art, and literature have the ability to transcend those boundaries and create a world where communication can take place?

Wajahat Ali: Agreed. Cultural diplomacy might be the most effective means right now to bridge the divides. It has had a curative and healing effect for many
minority groups who have gone through exactly what Muslims are facing now. This is nothing unique — it has happened before. But, right now Muslims are the ones who are being hazed. However, I see tremendous opportunity for some conciliation and progress towards truly embracing our American values of pluralism.… Art sometimes forces us to confront the "dirty laundry" we don’t want to uncover or face."