Arts Activism, Creativity and Social Responsibility

As creatives do we have a responsibility to address social justice? If so, what does it mean to be both artist and activist? What does this work look like and how does it impact our work, lives and communities? How does it impact our cultural and educational institutions? These are just some of the questions being asked, pondered and answered by artists. Clearly with our institutions under threat by the new administration we have much to ponder as we move forward.

Creating art under the new administration will  surely test our resolve and demand commitment to addressing social justice. It will demand artists have the courage to address these attacks on our art and lives. Attacks threatening to silence our messages. Social justice art demands we not cower in the face of

these attacks and stand firmly in our support for the who are marginalized and disenfranchised. Understanding that we are in this together. There is the real possibility of being targeted, bullied, ostracized and boycotted. This is not a new concept , artists have encountered these since the beginning of time.

I’ll tell you what this movement does not need, that is stage activists. Activists on
stage, yet silent when off stage.  Needed are artists activists on the ground in our communities doing the work, when the cameras are not flashing.  Artists must
continue to be the light burning bright, encouraging and inspiring.  Author and human rights activists James Baldwin said it best. “Artists are here to disturb the peace.”  An illusionary peace rooted in injustice and privilege for the few.

 

© Copyright Lorraine Currelley 2017. All Rights Reserved.