Arts Emergency

What’s the point of arts and humanities?

Josie Long, Philip Pullman and Alan Moore visited the Oxford Literary Festival to ask, “what’s the point of the arts?”

Is there any social utility in studying humanities subjects? Should the state fund the study of such things? Should we be pleased at the withdrawal of state support for university-level study? Should such creative and scholarly practices be freely marketised? Can the arts and humanities develop without university study and scholarship? How do the arts and humanities survive in times of economic crisis? Do they benefit from poverty? Is there a current state of emergency in the arts?

Co-founder of The Arts Emergency Service, Josie Long, writer Philip Pullman and world-renowned graphic novelist and magician Alan Moore discussed the value, purpose and current discourse surrounding the subjects, disciplines and practices that universities commonly label the arts and humanities.


The session was organised by Oxford Brookes University in association with the Arts Emergency Service and was chaired by Dr Simon Kövesi, the university’s head of English and Modern Languages. Thanks to Bleeding Heart Films for coming to film the panel for us! Hope you enjoy the videos.

What is the Value of Art? from Bleeding Heart Films on Vimeo.

Is it Art vs Science? from Bleeding Heart Films on Vimeo.