A common feeling that many people struggle with is little sense of community, or being disconnected from the world around them. This is where art forms of all types can come in. Social movements allow people to come together for a common cause, and doing so through art can have a greatly beneficial impact on a person’s perspective. Today, social media allows these movements to reach far and wide, and combining these efforts with art can have a lasting positive outcome.
With their talents, artists of all kinds have the power to evoke emotion, challenge societal norms, and change individuals’ perspectives, addressing all kinds of issues. These can be anything like animal rights, immigration, sexism, or war. A common argument is that politicians or members of the government that attempt to tackles these issues are often peripheral to the case. Artists that are normal, everyday citizens are much more central, effectively reaching and engaging a wider audience that is more likely to contribute to their cause.
A great example of social movement through art is Mix’d Ingrdnts. This all-female dance group from Oakland, California was started by Jenay Anolin and Samara Atkins to defy the implications that dance groups are a predominantly male area of arts. Anolin stated, “I feel that women have a capability to express themselves through their movement, but it doesn’t have to be degrading.” Through the power of social media, this group has been able to attract and teach classes in the Bay Area of California, inspiring more and more women to join their movement.
Art has played a large role in political protest as well. In order for social activism to truly have an impact, creativity is key. One could argue that certain cave drawings dating back to the earliest instances of man could be considered graffiti, and therefore some form of protest. Artists attempt to bring attention to an issues in a new, and exciting way to inspire people who may have otherwise disregarded the topic altogether.
Music, dance, illustrations, and designs of all types can aim to produce knowledge within a group of protestors, or convey that knowledge to outside parties in an attempt to gain more followers. The more attractive the art form is, the bigger impact this form of protest may have on the issue at hand. The more well-known the platform from which it is coming from also plays a large role. Famous musicians for example, may do so through songs, or artists through paintings. Those with more power than others have a better chance of inspiring more in joining their cause.
For those who wish to start their own social movement through art, decide on an issue that you feel passionate about, and apply your artistic skills to that issue, utilizing social media along the way. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort to show others that you care enough about a certain cause to want to make a change, and they may be inspired to contribute as well.