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March 26, 2013 | Posted by | No Comments

The Art in Activism

I fancy myself a political activist. However, time spent outside my bubble shows me I don’t know as much about the world around me as I think.

Muhammad Ghandi

Muhammad Ghandi

How does one make a difference in a world so vast and shifting? Can we all stand in front of towering tanks? Despite our best intentions, it may not be realistic for every passionate person to stand on the corner with protest sign. But perhaps making a difference in this world is simpler than we think.

Wall in Bethlehem by Banksy, Photograph by Andrew MacEacheron

My belief is you don’t have to have an “I-was-doused-with-pepper-spray” story to prove that you care, though we should all be thankful for the activists on the frontline. Education is a fundamental element to making a difference in the world. We live in a world of little understanding, perhaps even ignorance, and I say that with no judgement as I consider myself wrapped in a blanket of ignorance as well. So, what is the solution to educating the masses on the injustices in the world?

Sunflower Seeds by Ai Weiwei, at Tate.org.uk

Art. Art can be this education. I did not learn of the Napoleonic Wars from the textbooks my teachers provided me, but from the artworks of Antoine Gros, and Jacques Louis David. In the same way, art can illustrate a war, a conflict, or an uprising. Art can act as a voice for the oppressed, and is a method of spreading a message, an opinion.

Napoleon Visiting the Plague House in Jaffa by Antoine Gros

Educating ourselves by whatever means one finds most effective, and passing that knowledge along to others, is one of the key components to activism. Think about it – it’s acting. By sharing, and discussing, we can change. Art is just one of the ways we can do that.

Homeless at Christmas by Kim Weimer, at Zatista.com

What are you passionate about? Maybe it’s something our Zatista artists are passionate about as well. Be sure to check out what artists have to say, because they are changing the world.

War Torn Reflections by Terrece Beesley, at Zatista.com

 

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