OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa), C4AA (The Center for Artistic Activism) and Association Culturelle La Muse invite artists to apply to participate in a 5-day Art Action Academy from December 17-21, 2017 in Conakry, Guinea. The workshop is open to artists from West Africa currently working on or interested in learning how they can reverse the dominance of corruption with art forms using their own expertise and artistic expression.
Many artists want to create work that has a social impact. Unfortunately, organizing a successful social-change campaign isn’t often part of skills traditionally acquired by artists. The Art Action Academy (AAA) is a training program aimed at helping socially-engaged artists make their work more impactful and provides them with the necessary tools to better evaluate the effect of their work.
The goal of the AAA is not merely to impart knowledge, but to access, organize and operationalize the creative, cultural and political resources possessed by the artists themselves. In brief, the goal of the AAA is to have participants own the method so that they can continue to develop and grow as successful artists and effective activists.
Using a range of contemporary and historical examples of organizing and activism from around the world, participants will study the various ways cultural creativity has been employed for raising awareness, building organizations, influencing legislatures, and drafting policy. The selected artists will explore ideas from cultural theory to cognitive science to social marketing. Additionally, participants will learn to apply these ideas through a range of practical exercises designed to unlock their imagination from the prison-house of the possible – and then to figure out how to make the impossible possible, through new strategies and tactics. More about the AAA workshop curriculum is included at the end of this message.
We’ll explore how to reverse the dominance of corruption with art forms using the expertise and artistic expression of the participants.
Eligibility: This training is open to artists living and working in Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Mali, Niger, Benin, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire. Artists may include dancers, performers, visual artists, writers, scenarists, rappers and other musicians, film makers, 3D animators, and cartoonists.
To apply, please complete the information on this form by November 20th 2017 at 2pm GMT.
The workshop will begin the afternoon of Dec 17th and end the evening of December 21st. Applicants must be able to commit to the full workshop for 5 days plus travel time. All costs (travel ticket, accommodation and meals) will be covered by OSIWA.
The Arts Action Academy has been held in over 10 countries with over 800 participants. Here are what some of our participants have said about the training:
“This is a tremendous gift to art activists – it meets many needs and fills in gaps we may not realize we have.”
“Thank you both for this workshop. A clear agenda that has been fine-tuned over time. Really excellent content, structure and method.”
“I thank you for your great efforts, passionate training, am leaving this …training room a more empowered, creative African Woman.”
“I’ve been looking for something to reinvigorate/refresh/renew my commitment to activism. You provided it. Thank you.”
“A great opportunity to open my mind and explore ideas. The teaching instills confidence and a sense of empowerment and creativity which everyone should have.”
The AAA workshop will be led by C4AA co-founders Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert in collaboration with OSIWA Staff.
About the Organizers & Facilitators
Stephen Duncombe is a Professor of Media and Culture at New York University. He is the author and editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader, and is a life-long activist.
Steve Lambert is a conceptual artist and Associate Professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. His art has been shown everywhere from marches to museums internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, and four documentary films.
The Center for Artistic Activism trains artists and activists around the world to use their own creativity and cultural knowledge to make positive change.
The Open Society Initiative for West Africa promotes and supports open societies, inclusive democratic governance based on transparent and accountable institutions, active citizenry and economic advancement. More at http://www.osiwa.org/.
Association Culturelle La Muse is a Guinean civil society organization working towards the promotion of Arts and Culture for Social Justice.
More about the Art Action Academy Workshop
The Art Action Academy (AAA) is designed to help artists who want to be socially engaged to be more effective in bringing about change. The AAA presents new ways of doing art and activism, drawing upon artists perspectives, expertise and understandings. The workshop also helps artists build a community of practice, an extended network of artists in a region and around the world who provide support after the workshop.
The AAA curriculum includes exercises to help you see how activism is typically done, and how to do it better by using art and culture to reach people at a level of personal experience, story, emotion and fundamental values. The workshop takes a deep dive into the history of effective artistic activism around the world, drawing out lessons that can be applied locally but also revealing how tactics must be culturally specific in order to resonate. Workshop participants bring their own examples of artistic activist tactics that have worked in their regions and cultures. Together we examine why these are effective and how to draw from them for new and innovative campaign ideas with objectives and goals aimed at fundamental change. The workshop facilitators talk about how to use cognitive and behavioral science to change people’s minds and behaviors, and exercises help participants examine how you might use this science, as well as morality and storytelling, to change culturally-specific narratives. Working like anthropologists, together the group will examine those culturally-specific narratives, use outcome-based design thinking techniques to invent new ones, and collaborate to create an action that puts the workshop’s lessons to the test.
Again, to apply, please complete the information on this form by November 20th 2017 at 2pm GMT.
Applicants will be notified by November 24th, 2017. Due to the high numbers of applications, we may not be able to respond to every inquiry. If you have questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our C4AA Accelerator Program, Steve Lambert is working in Seattle for the next few months, helping the YES to SCS coalition – check out their new site, yestoscs.org! Together we’re implement creative strategies and actions to help save lives in the opioid crisis by creating the Untied States first safe consumption space. Lambert created the signs you see in this image, as well as this video, which are part of a multifaceted creative action campaign he and the coalition will unveil in the coming months. It’s going to be epic. We’ll keep you posted!
Our Accelerator Program is a new initiative we started to help groups jumpstart their social change campaigns through intensive C4AA mentoring and project implementation. Ask us if you’re interested in this for your group or coalition.
Steve Lambert talked about the origins of the C4AA and tried to recruit the audience to be artistic activists at the 2017 EYEO Fest.
You can watch a video of the whole talk including a summary of some of the work Lambert and the C4AA did with ASIJIKI at the 2016 AIDS Conference. (You met Ishtar and Marlise from ASIJIKI in one of our past webinars.)
Did you know they figured out how to meet Elton John? You can find out how in the video.
Many artists want to create work that has a social impact. Unfortunately, organizing a successful social-change campaign is not often part of an artist’s education. The Art Action Academy (AAA), now in its second year at Queens Museum, helps socially-engaged artists make their work more impactful and better evaluate the effect of their work. This free workshop is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and implemented by the Center for Artistic Activism, in partnership with the Queens Museum as part of its Open A.I.R Artist Services Program.
If you are hungry to learn more about about engaging audiences through creative work that has social impact, or if you work with a community organization and want to incorporate more creativity into your work, this is the workshop for you.
Using a range of contemporary examples of organizing and activism from around the world, participants will study the ways cultural creativity has been employed for social change. We will explore ideas from cultural theory to cognitive science to mass communications. We will learn to apply these ideas through a mix of classroom style presentations and practical exercises designed to unlock our imaginations from the prison-house of the possible – and then to figure out how to make the impossible into reality, through new strategies and tactics. The workshop will culminate in a collaborative creative action.
The goal of the AAA is not merely to impart knowledge, but to access, organize and operationalize the creative, cultural and political resources possessed by artists and activists themselves. In brief, the goal of the AAA is to have participants own their method to further develop as successful artists and effective activists.
We invite artists (and creative practitioners of all kinds) to apply for this free, six-day, three-weekend Art Action Academy.
Participants must commit to attending the Art Action Academy on Sat Oct 7th, Sun Oct 8th, Sat Oct 21st, Sun Oct 22, Sat Oct 28 and Sun Oct 29 from 10am-4pm each day.
The Arts Action Academy is a program of the Center for Artistic Activism and will be led by the C4AA co-founders, Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert.
Stephen Duncombe is a life-long activist and professor of Media and Culture at New York University. He is the author and editor of six books, including Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy and the Cultural Resistance Reader.
Steve Lambert is a conceptual artist and professor of New Media at SUNY Purchase. His art has been shown everywhere from marches to museums both nationally and internationally, has appeared in over fourteen books, and four documentary films.
The Open A.I.R. Artist Services Program at the Queens Museum draws on the institution’s resources, staff expertise, and networks to provide workshops and lectures that help artists grow their practice, advance their career, and develop sustainable lives as artists.
Artistic Activism is a dynamic practice combining the creative power of the arts to move us emotionally with the strategic planning of activism necessary to bring about social change.
Art and activism do different work in the world. Activism, as the name implies, is the activity of challenging and changing power relations. There are many ways of doing activism and being an activist, but the common element is an activity targeted toward a discernible end. Simply put, the goal of activism is action to create an Effect.
Art, on the other hand, tends not to have such a clear target. It’s hard to say what art is for or against; its value often lies in providing us perspective and new ways to envision our world. Its effect is often subtle and hard to measure, and confusing or contradictory messages can be layered into the work. Good art always contains a surplus of meaning: something we can’t quite describe or put our finger on, but moves us nonetheless. Its goal, if we can even use that word, is to stimulate a feeling, move us emotionally, or alter our perception. Art, equally simply stated, is an expression that generates Affect.
At first glance these aims seem at odds with one another. Activism moves the material world, while Art moves the heart, body and soul. In fact, however, they are complimentary. Social change doesn’t just happen, it happens because people decide to make change. As any seasoned activist can tell you, people just don’t decide to change their mind and act accordingly, they are personally moved to do so by emotionally powerful stimuli. We’re moved by affective experiences to do physical actions that result in concrete effects: Affect leads to Effect. We might think of this as Affective Effect, or perhaps, Effective Affect. Or, combined in a new word, Æffect (pronounced Aye-fect).
Artistic Activism is a practice aimed at generating Æffect: emotionally resonant experiences that lead to measurable shifts in power.
Artistic Activism Thrives in the Contemporary Landscape
The first rule of guerilla warfare is to know the terrain and use it to your advantage. Today, this doesn’t mean studying maps of the mountains of Cuba or the jungles of Vietnam. Our modern political terrain is a highly mediated landscape of signs and symbols, story and spectacle. To operate successful on this cultural topography we need to observe, analyze and respond creatively. We need to be Artistic Activists.
We may like to think of politics as a purely rational business, where sensible people logically discuss and debate the issues at hand, come to a reasoned decision, and then judiciously act. Certainly this is how politics has been taught to us in our civics classes. But as recent developments in cognitive science suggest, humans don’t think and behave this way: we make sense of our world through stories and symbols that frame the information we receive and then act accordingly. The principles governing civic action are more likely to be found in the worlds of popular culture and entertainment, and artistic expression and reception, than in textbooks of political science.
Acknowledging that the political landscape is also a cultural landscape opens up new terrain to work upon. Whereas art tends to be limited to museums and galleries, and activism to street demonstrations and state houses, artistic activism is at home in town squares and shopping malls, on billboards or through social media…as well as galleries and state houses. This new terrain, neither overtly “arty” or “political” is more familiar and safer to an audience than a museum or a rally, and thus makes artistic activism more attractive, approachable, and friendly than traditional art or activist practices. Artistic activism – as an affective image, performance, or experience – is also well suited for an age of cell phone cameras and social networks. People don’t share policy papers, they share things that move them.
Artistic Activism Has Been Used Throughout History
While Artistic Activism is particularly well suited for the contemporary moment, throughout history the most effective civic actors have married the arts with campaigns for social change, using aesthetic approaches to provide a critical perspective on the world as it is and imagine the world as it could be. In the struggle for Civil Rights for African Americans in the US, for example, activists drew upon the stories and songs and participatory culture of the black churches, staged media-savvy stunts like Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus, played white racist reaction against peaceful protesters as a sympathetic passion play during the campaign to desegregate Birmingham, Alabama, and, most famously, used imaginative imagery (and popular cultural references) in a speech to call America to task for its racist past and articulate a dream of a better future. While Martin Luther King Jr is now largely remembered for his example of moral courage, social movement historian Doug McAdam’s estimation of King’s “genius for strategic dramaturgy,” likely better explains the success of his campaigns.
From Jesus’s use of parables to engage his audience, to dramatizing “this is what democracy looks like” in public squares around the world in 2011, working artfully makes activism effective. Many activists know this intuitively, but by naming it “artistic activism” we take what would be a folk art and turn it into a defined practice — giving it the attention and study it demands.
Artistic Activism Creates Openings
Art and activism often conforms to expectations — and for many people those expectations are, unfortunately, negative. Artistic activism is activism that doesn’t look like activism and art that doesn’t look like art.
The ability of artistic activism to surprise us – to show up in unlikely places (e.g. not a gallery) or take on unfamiliar forms (e.g. not a protest march) provides an opportunity to disrupt people’s preconceived notions of art and protest, and their predetermined ideas about the messages we are trying to communicate. Artistic activism creates an opportunity to bypass seemingly fixed political ideas and moral ideals and remap cognitive patterns. Surprise is a moment when hearts can be touched and minds reached, and both changed.
Artistic Activism’s ability to escape easy categorization is a benefit in societies where protest is commonplace. Whereas traditional forms of protest, like marches, need to constantly increase in size or scope, or descend into violence, to become noticed (and newsworthy), the creative innovation at the heart of artistic activism provides something uncommon, or out of place, that can attract attention and become memorable. The boundary slippage of artistic activism works equally well in repressive regimes where overt political protest is prohibited, yet artistic practices are tolerated. Slipping under the radar, artistic activism is not identified as “politics” to authorities while still being able to communicate a social message to the public.
Artistic Activism is Accessible
“I’m not political,” is a phrase one hears often; it’s a rare person, however, that doesn’t express themself through some form of creativity. We go dancing on the weekends, perform songs in our churches, compose raps with our friends, make memes for social media, customize bicycles, assemble scrapbooks, sew quilts, and prepare dinners for the table. While it takes years of professional training to practice (or even understand) law, policy analysis, or governmental lobbying, creativity is a skill we all already possess and can learn to hone and use to great æffect.
Indeed, well-honed cultural creativity and artistic expression is often the possession of those — youth, the poor, people of color, migrants and immigrants — that are most marginalized from formal spheres of politics, law, and education. Artistic activism plays to their strengths.
Even with the best intentions, artists and activists can be paternalistic toward those whom they are trying to assist. They, as “experts,” have the knowledge and creativity which they bestow upon “disadvantaged“ people. Artistic activism does not work this way. Here the relationship is reversed: it is the people who possess what is valuable. While culture is something we all share, we don’t all share the same culture. The building blocks – the symbols and stories that give artistic activism its content and form – differ from people to people and place to place. When it comes to local culture the locals are the real experts.
Activism is foreign to many people, and a bit daunting: it seems to take too much commitment, too much risk, and too much time. (Oscar Wilde once quipped that “the problem with socialism is that it wastes too many evenings on meetings.”) But that’s why mixing arts and activism works so well. Because we all have a creative life, using the arts – and culture, more broadly – in activist work lowers barriers to entry. Culture, as something familiar, can work as an access point through which organizers can approach and engage people who are otherwise alienated by institutional systems like voting, lobbying, political campaigning, and legislation. Unlike fine arts or political policy, artistic activism takes no specialized knowledge for an audience to “get it.” And, as an art form, artistic activism is always open to multiple meanings and, thus, multiple ways for the audience to connect.
Because artistic activism crosses boundaries, it not only opens up multiple access points for creators and audiences, but also for mass media outlets who may cover events in both arts and politics sections, and for funders who can support projects with arts and culture grants as well as through social justice portfolios.
Artistic Activism Stimulates a Culture of Creativity
There is an art to every practice, activism included. It’s what distinguishes the innovative from the routine, the elegant from the mundane. Creativity is essential to good organizing. It enables activists to imagine new tactics, strategies and goals to keep campaigns fresh and make them more effective. At one time protest marches and mass rallies were powerful innovations; today they are routine. Millions of people may have marched in the streets protesting the American War in Iraq, but public sentiment turned against the war when the mother of a dead soldier – Cindy Sheehan — staged a dramatic encampment outside the president’s vacation home. This was artistic activism.
But artistic activism is more than coming up with creative tactics – it stimulates a culture of creativity that extends from tactics through goals to overall campaign planning. Drawing upon creative processes familiar to arts and design, artistic activism encourages blue sky brainstorming, quick sketches, multiple iterations, rapid prototyping, and a spirit of play — as well as risk, and the acceptance of failure. Approached as a creative process, we are more apt to see multiple solutions to problems, and new pathways to attain our objectives. Free to experiment, we may identify and solve problems we didn’t set out to solve, end-running the commonplace framing of politics to open up new possibilities for interpretation and action.
Artistic activism, as an art form, is forever doing things and creating reactions that are unintended — what we might call an “abundance of æffect.” Rather than seeing these unintended consequences as a detriment to be ignored or controlled, the creative process of artistic activism encourages us to notice, reflect, and be open to new creative and political possibilities.
Artistic Activism Energizes People and Organizations
Caring about the world is hard work. We open our eyes to things other people do their best to ignore, and in our work we constantly fight against forces greater than us: ancient prejudices, entrenched institutions, well-funded opposition. As an activist it is easy to get burnt out as our life becomes increasingly defined by “the struggle.” As an artist it’s easy to get frustrated that the creative work we do has little impact on the issues we care about so deeply. Artistic activism is a way to connect with the artist inside of every activist and the activist within every artist, redrawing connections so that artistic activism generates fun and pleasure rather than sacrifice and guilt and, in the process, reintegrating and re-energizing our lives.
Re-energized people revitalize the institutions they work within. In this way, artistic activism is a form of organizational self-care. The purpose and play of artistic activism can reanimate “dead” cultural and civic organizations like museums, galleries, and NGOs from the inside out — but also from the outside in: creativity is infectious. As fun as artistic activism is for those doing it, it’s also exciting for those people on the outside experiencing it.
Artistic activism is not as simple as privileging creativity over clipboards. Petitions still need to be signed and people need to canvass door–to-door, marches need to be planned and politicians lobbied. But making space for creativity makes the necessary drudgery more bearable, and keeps people in the organization longer. And through the practice of artistic activism it just may be possible that a more creative way of canvassing can be discovered.
Artistic Activism is About the Long Game
Creating and sustaining lasting change demands a change in values, beliefs and patterns of behavior, that is: cultural change. While changing laws and policies are essential, laws will not be followed nor policies enacted unless people have internalized the values that lie behind them. And while marches, rallies and protests are important, they won’t have lasting impact unless the issues resonate with people. Culture lays the foundation for politics. It outlines the contours of our very notions of what is desirable and undesirable, possible and impossible. Culture makes us, as we make it, and culture is the base material of Artistic Activism.
Artistic activism draws from culture, to create culture, to impact culture. An artistic activist might craft an image that prompts people to rethink how we look at reality, or stage a performance which calls into question what values and institutions are “normal” in a society, or create an artifact prefiguring an alternative, better world. In each case, expanding, and prodding what we consider normal, possible, or even conceivable. If artistic activism is successful, the larger culture shifts in ways big and small.
To change the world we need to imagine what a changed world might look like. These “utopian” visions are useful for setting pragmatic goals and concrete objectives, and provide a loadstone to orient our direction so we don’t get lost. Most important, these ideas and ideals inspire us to get up and out in the morning to change the world, and attract others to work with us.
Articulating our dreams is not easy, as our very ideas of what is possible are shaped by the culture of the world we want to change. But, as Audre Lorde once wrote “Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought.” Art is a means by which to imagine the unimaginable, and artistic activism is the medium that can suggest it as a possibility. Through sound and image and movement, artistic activism can conjure up a vision of what could be in the future and communicate it to others in the here and now. Art gives us the vision. Activism helps us make the road to get there.
Artistic Activism is Peaceful and Persuasive
A final note. Artistic activism, as a cultural approach, is inherently non-violent. Although groups have used creative methods for violent ends (most infamously the Nazi Party) the tactic itself is peaceful. Artistic activism is aimed at hearts and minds, not bodies or buildings. The goal is not to force compliance, which art can never do, but to persuade by creating moving experiences that prompt people to question the world as it is, imagine a world as it could be, and join together to make that new world real. Artistic activism is Æffective power.
We’ve all been there: you’ve done a brilliant, funny, creative action but no one except some passersby and a handful of your Facebook friends have any idea it happened. Or maybe worse yet, you get some press coverage but the journalist completely missed the point. Well, we’re here to help.
In this webinar, Steve Lambert will be live online with the journalist Marisa Mazria Katz, former editor-in-chief of Creative Time Reports and writer for the The Wall Street Journal, Monocle, The New York Times, and more. She’ll help us all understand how and when to connect with the press, how to communicate yourself and your campaign, how to write a great pitch or op-ed, and, very importantly, what NOT to do. Plus, you can submit your own pitch. See below for how to do that. But first, quick – register for the webinar!
The How To Win #15 Make the News
webinar will be on
Friday, May 5, 2017 at 12pm EDT.
Sign up here
so you can get all the goodies, including a handy reminder ahead of time.
YOUR PITCHES, POLISHED. We’ve got something special for this webinar. Send us a sample pitch (it could be for a real upcoming event/action or something you’ve dreamed up or have done in the past) and Marisa and Steve will help polish it up. This is an amazing opportunity to get feedback from Marisa, who has so much experience pitching artists and activists to the mass media. Send us your pitch through this form.
We have three trainings coming up in the next two weeks, which means three opportunities to up your creative activism game. Register quick, as this is a rare opportunity!
Putting Your Skills To Work With For Social Change
Steve Lambert and Patricia Jerido are doing a special online webinar with Creative Capital to give artists practical guidelines on how to be effective and resilient creative agents for social change.
Wednesday, April 26. 7:00 – 8:30pm EST. Online. Free. Register Here
Artistic Activism: Making Art Work
Learn how you can use your creative practice for social change. A rare Artistic Activism in-person workshop with Steve Duncombe, Steve Lambert, and Patricia Jerido in NYC.
Thursday, May 4. 6:30-9:15 pm. 15 Maiden Lane, 18th Fl New York, NY. $35. Register Here
How To Win Webinars #15: Make The News
We’re bringing in the press expert Marisa Mazria Katz who will help us all understand how and when to connect with the press, how to communicate yourself and your campaign, how to write a great pitch or op-ed, and, very importantly, what NOT to do.
Send us your pitch – we’ll polish it! We’re looking for proposals from artists and activists to workshop live. This will be a good opportunity to think through any ideas and projects with someone who has experience pitching artists and activists to the mass media.
As part of our Arts Action Academy in December 2016 in Dublin, sex workers, artists and activists created and performed this creative action to raise awareness about, and fight against, laws that criminalize sex workers. All of this was conceived and implemented by the Academy participants in 24 hours as the last day of our intensive AAA training.
What we did
We ran a five day program in Dublin teaching artists and activists how to be more effective with their work. Two “classroom” days cover the basics of artistic activism including; history, theory, organizing, creative practice, and more.
Then we collaboratively develop, rehearse, and build a collective project so we can put the ideas into practice in the world.
Why sex work? Why Dublin?
At the Center for Artistic Activism we strive to work with the most marginalized groups and the most difficult issues we can take on. Amnesty International describes sex workers as an “extremely marginalized group of people, frequently forced to live outside the law […] they face discrimination, beatings, rape and harassment [and] are often denied access to basic health or housing services.” Sex Workers Alliance Ireland has made progress in Dublin and is in the midst of making legal changes that could mean improvements in the coming years.
At the same time, the topic of sex work ignites many deeply held moral attitudes and stigma that help perpetuate these human rights issues.
This is just the kind of legal and social mess we’re not afraid to jump into.
With the combined expertise of the sex workers, artists, and the Center for Artistic Activism we got to work.
We built a peep show
The group came up with a plan for a public action with multiple components. One was this public “Peep Show” that really worked as a holiday themed spectacle, just strange enough to attract people on the street, but familiar enough that they’d understand what was happening and how it worked.
We were set up in the center of Dublin at a major shopping area and tourist attraction so there were plenty of passers by. These people saw signs advertising “1 Euro Massage” and saw people getting totally innocuous hand massages under tents.
These face-to-face interactions allowed our team to talk one-on-one about purpose of the action, the day to end violence against sex workers, and the laws the exist and are being proposed in Ireland that would impact sex workers. Then the guest is told “by the way, what’s happening here would be technically illegal.” The proposed laws would make two sex workers working together in Ireland – looking out for each other, working alongside each other, or helping each other in any way – a crime.
The guest was then invited to be “arrested”…
… and “have their mugshot taken with Santa!”
Guests left with their mugshot in a fun holiday card that had further information about human rights for sex workers and the laws in Ireland.
Our group was able to take a complex, volatile issue and make it accessible, experiential, and fun. So, of course, we held a graduation for the Arts Action Academy.
This last one is clearly so important! And yet often this is where activists get off track. Do we inform people about what they should do, show them how bad things could get, or present a beautiful alternative? This is where you can think about whether artistic activists should use our work to hold a mirror up to reality to make the invisible visible, or should we use our talents to imagine new possibilities of what reality could be? We have some thoughts on what you can learn from art history and cultural theory in order to make change through art.
While having an autocratic, erratic and narcissistic madman as a president might be new to artistic activists in the US, this is standard operating procedure for activists in other parts of the world. In this webinar we talked with veteran South African activists Ishtar Makhani and Marlise Richter to learn how to navigate, and effectively operate in, this unfamiliar political terrain.
This is one in a series of webinars. You can see all of them here. You don’t need to watch all of them, or watch them in order, and they’re open to everyone – please share!