Global Aesthetic Achievement 2019

The Global Aesthetic Achievement of the Year 2019 prize has been granted jointly to WHO Regional Office for Europe’ s project on Cultural Contexts of Health and Well-being (CCH) for their Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on arts and health and to the International Association of Art (IAA) Europe’s campaign Exhibition Remuneration in Europe: Pay the Artist Now!

Background

Since 1997, the Finnish Society for Aesthetics has awarded the prize of the Finnish Aesthetic Achievement of the Year. The Society has thus highlighted an important aesthetic work made in the spheres of art, city and environmental planning, architecture, media and other fields with aesthetic values. With the award, we aspire to foster discussion about aesthetics and its role in society. The award is given to a person or community which has through its acts, products or thoughts raised discussion about art, beauty, and aesthetic value. Starting from 2015, the Finnish Society for Aesthetics awards also a global Aesthetic Achievement prize.

The Global Aesthetic Achievement of the Year 2019

The award of the Global Aesthetic Achievement of the Year 2019 has been granted jointly to the following projects:

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Europe’ s project on Cultural Contexts of Health and Well-being (CCH):
HEALTH EVIDENCE NETWORK SYNTHESIS REPORT 67
WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE ON THE ROLE OF THE ARTS IN IMPROVING HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
A scoping review by Daisy Fancourt and Saoirse Finn

and

The International Association of Art (IAA) Europe:
EXHIBITION REMUNERATION IN EUROPE: PAY THE ARTIST NOW! CAMPAIGN

The Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on arts and health is so far the most comprehensive survey on the impact that arts and culture have on health and well-being. The report was developed within the WHO as part of The cultural contexts of health and well-being (CCH) project, and it was published in Helsinki on the 11th of November 2019. The report reviews global academic literature in English and Russian from January 2000 to May 2019. It covers over 3000 studies in total and presents synthesized evidence of the potential impact of art on both mental and physical health. Among other policy considerations, the report suggests strengthening structures and mechanisms for collaboration between the culture, social care, and health sectors within the European region. The extent of the report is arguably remarkable, which is the most important reason for awarding the report as the Global Aesthetic Achievement of 2019. The report’s synthesis of the current evidence on the topic is seminal for both research and practices relating to the connection between the arts and well-being in the global scale.

The International Association of Art (IAA) Europe is a network representing professional visual artists in Europe and is one of the five cultural regions (Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe) of the International Association of Art (IAA), the largest international non-governmental association of visual artists. The network’s campaign Exhibition Remuneration in Europe: Pay the artist now! was launched on World Art Day, the 15th of April 2019. It is a continuation of the Exhibition Remuneration Right in Europe symposium, which was held in Brussels in November 2018. The campaign’s mission is to advocate fair exhibition remuneration for all European visual artists, who are still commonly believed to receive their income through selling their works. Together with fostering the discussion on the topic, the campaign has provided information and models of exhibition remuneration and inspired to create guidelines for visual artists’ payments in Europe. As part of the discussion, the delegates of the National Committees of IAA Europe signed the network’s resolution on the implementation of the EU Copyright Directive 2019 for an appropriate and proportionate remuneration of Visual Artists in Europe on the 23rd of November 2019. As the visual arts represent one of the largest sectors of creative and cultural industries in the EU (CCIs), the campaign is a notable precursor on a global scale.

While the HEN report 67 encourages us to deepen the discussion on aesthetic value and the necessity of arts and culture in developing individual well-being as well as in developing well-being societies, the campaign Pay The Artist Now! suggests us to consider the societal structures that relate to artists themselves. Thus, with the shared award of the Global Aesthetic Achievement of the Year 2019, we wish to foster the discussion about the connections between well-being, artistic work, and societal structures.

The recipients of the award were chosen by secretary of the Finnish Society for Aesthetics M.A. Noora-Helena Korpelainen (University of Helsinki), and the award was announced in the Finnish Society for Aesthetics’ annual seminar in Helsinki, the 10th of December 2019.

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