top of page

Creativity in the Face of Wartime Violence

“The major effect of the ‘panopticon’ is to induce in the inmate a state of consciousness and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (Michel Foucault - McCahill and Finn, 2014)

Are we creative in the face of wartime violence?

It may seem an obscure question “Are we creative in the face of wartime violence?” Surely violence would inhibit creativity - the last thing one might think about in an environment where conflict, destruction and terror are abundant. However, in an everyday context of tragedy and self-preservation creativity seems to feature heavily in wartime conditions. It unifies, promotes optimism, strength and gives meaning in a times of despair. (Maček, 2009)

This article argues that it is much more than the proximity of death or the way that people create meaning in the face of death, as suggested by Ivana Maček in chapter 2 (Death and Creativity in Wartime) of her book Sarajevo Under Siege, rather it is the parallel effects from the dislocation with what Norbert Elias describes as the ‘civilising processes’ of society which amplifies our creativity in the face of wartime violence. ....

bottom of page