Bringing Art Into Activism

Bringing art into our activism can make campaigns more impactful and effective. It can also give us the excitement, energy, and enthusiasm to continue to fight for our cause. Take a look at these four resources to give you some inspiration for your next campaign.

Creative Resistance: Why We Need to Incorporate Art Into Our Activism

This 2014 article from Alternet provides a good call-to-arms (or paint brushes!) for arty activism, exploring the different aspects of why incorporating some creativity is so effective.

“The explosion of arts activism involves a wide variety of artistic forms: puppets, balloons, music, memes, posters, banners, plays, street theater, poetry, animation and light displays among others. Art has added vitality and energy to advocacy, and it reaches people at deeper emotional levels, conveying what cannot be said with mere facts.”

The Centre for Artistic Activism

This US collective discuss their take on why creativity keeps campaigning fresh.

“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 staged a dramatic encampment outside the president’s vacation home. When the Iraq Veterans Against the War decided to protest, they didn’t stage a sit-in and they didn’t march on the Capital. Instead they acted out the same military operations they did in Iraq and Afghanistan on the streets of US cities. This moving performance by veterans — street theater for the 21st century — captured the attention of both passersby and the media”. Read More…

 

Craftivism

Craftivism is the practice of engaged creativity, especially regarding political or social causes. By using their creative energy to help make the world a better place, craftivists help bring about positive change via personalized activism. Craftivism allows practitioners to customize their particular skills to address particular causes.

-Betsy Greer,
“Craftivism.” Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. 2007. SAGE Publications.

A Useful Guide

This guide from Global Justice Now puts creative campaigning into the context of recent UK campaigns, discussing their work, that of UK Uncut, and others. It also has some suggested further reading.