CRITICAL ARTS Routledge Taylor & Francis
Published Date

The Indra Congress is a global network of community artists, cultural practitioners, and educators. An alternative; mediator of arts and culture for intra- and inter-personal social change, it provides a safe space for youth to communicate social issues. The network actively participates in a biannual program where representatives of the different Indra hubs come together in a face-to-face congress. The art-based approach challenges stereotypes, prejudices, inequalities, and descriptive myths in order to build bridges, promote empathy, and to help develop positive relationships. In this article, a reflection on Indra practice and the use of arts for social change is related to critical questions and the ongoing discussions about cultural literacy. The analysis relates to the analogy upon which the Indra Congress draws its practice namely that of the description of the god Indra’s net and intersecting points. It starts with an experiential analysis of the Pathways, Indra Congress event, and its host, ARROWSA. The article further analyses how themes of diversity and local and personal narratives intersect with critical cultural diversity. As such, it promotes that the Congress embodies a practice of cultural literacies, that promotes the sharing of differences and commonalities through collaboration in the arts and culture.