Monday, March 24, 2008




  • Creative expression emerging from a NEED to collectively highlight and educate for social improvement.
  • Involves many varied social contexts and definitions.
  • Includes an understanding not only of geography but also history and tradition, ethnicity and dedication or belief in spirit.
  • Includes topics/issues (but not limited to): racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, classism, ableism and all forms of discrimination that create marginalisation in society.

  • Concerned with the functionality of art in public arenas including community development, corrections, education, intergenerational communications, aging, environment, conflict resolution, cultural citizenship etc.
  • Work with all media, in all disciplines, everywhere.
  • Committed to bringing arts and education to highlight and expose the widest possible range of social conditions and challenges facing our communities.
  • Seek to create social change on every level of society, from the most ‘personal’ to the most ‘political’.

Activist Art for Leadership…
How do we practice it and what style does it inhibit? Is it catching?
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT? A few thoughts…

  • If you want to change things you do it with people not to people.
  • Ongoing revolution.
  • To service the greater good activist art (like all forms of expression) should be regarded according to review, peer assessment, research and budget in order to gauge it’s effectiveness in society.
  • A crucial shift in thinking is to involve people for their abilities, what they can do, rather than build up an attitude that only aesthetic or technically sound work should be the focus or at the forefront of the revolution in an ideological sense.
  • Artistic merit should be judged according to a clear communication of a relevant, centralised and communal message, no matter the art form or level of artistic development.
  • Activist art is concerned with cultural and ideological democracy and the right of all to have access to services.
  • Equal rights for one should not come at the cost of another’s rights.
  • Activist art is concerned with promoting a community that encourages ideas and the community leaders who have the courage to put them forward.
  • A community that takes pride in the way we treat and include those that need our help.
  • Inclusion.
  • Apart from enjoying the right to create art for its own sake, activists are often draw to art.
  • Activist Artists are concerned with highlighting technocratic decision making processes… behind closed doors based on limited information and without initial intention to consult those whom the decision most affected.
  • Rather than fearing our differences, we wish to be a people who celebrate it.
Recognising diversity can give birth to creativity as much as conflict.

YET… We do not seek to be a society that fears rigorous debate.

It is through the testing of ideas, through endless argument and negotiation that a community retains it’s vitality and survives.

Let our debates be based on mutual respect and the denial of violence.

Some examples of activist art:

Some examples of Activist Art in the Art Action Union Group Gallery at


Helen Bascom said...

This image says so much to me. The look in her eyes. . .

This is superb work.

kaoskyane said...

it's one of the most powerful pieces I have ever seen in my head... it's a very special moment captured.