The intersection of the arts and political activism has been an age old partnership defined by their shared purpose to encourage transformational change and community engagement. Taking many forms and shapes, art in public space that pushes social agendas, has the capacity to resonate with wide audiences, change perspectives, create new relationships and engender action on important global issues.
The subjectivity of art and its multi-cultural appeal amplifies the power to revolutionise. At a time when we are more inter-connected than we ever could have imagined, more exposed to cultural diversity than ever before, the role of art in bringing us together is more important than ever. Right now, when we rally together around the issues that have significant if not detrimental impact on our future, we truly possess the potential to change political discourse around the world. Art provides a platform that mobilises ideas and passions into action.
Provocative ideas and opinions have been presented by artists who have been able to channel the voice of communities that feel disenfranchised and disconnected. Employing art to tackle highly complex and politically charged issues that fracture communities is vital in order to create a deeper level of understanding and tolerance. Through this momentum of social cohension and engagement, change and transformation is possible. The context in which art is created is obviously hugely important and it takes a lot of conviction to create art that can effect momentous social change. The ability to connect on an individual level, a reflective level and on a macro-scale shines a light on the steps necessary in mobilising communities. When so many of us are experiencing isolation and loneliness, creating safe spaces to connect, share opinions, reflect and inspire are crucial to positive progress.
Art and culture form the fabrics of our individual and collective identities, they reflect our values and help us envision a future that is more equal, sustainable and bright. For this reason, developing the arts is on the agenda for all progressive governments and CSR-focused big business. We are continually exploring the impacts that art can have on shaping and changing political, social and cultural issues that we face across the globe. The rise of artivism and artivist organisations is testament to the relevance of the public art movement and its potential to generate change and engage the people.