What is Artivism?

Our team takes the cultural innovation of activism and partners it with the accessibility of creativity to foster and facilitate inclusive and diverse thinking. By combining the power of boths efforts, artists, activists, and audience alike are all able to bring themselves to the table and learn from each other.

We present and promote student and faculty content, facilitate community and corporate engagement, and connect all facets of academic life through an artistic and inclusive lens. These range from events to projects of varying scale, hosted on our own platform Artivism Television.

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Every week, we produce content to be featured, as well as promoting the deliverables from our students at Dartmouth College.

9 Reasons

for Artistic Activism

 “Simply put, the goal of activism is action to create an Effect” […] “to a discernible end.”

 “Good art always contains a surplus of meaning: something we can’t quite describe or put our finger on, but moves us nonetheless. Its goal, if we can even use that word, is to stimulate a feeling, move us emotionally, or alter our perception. […] Art, equally simply stated, is an expression that generates Affect.”

 “Artistic Activism is a dynamic practice combining the creative power of the arts to move us emotionally with the strategic planning of activism necessary to bring about social change.”

 “Acknowledging that the political landscape is also a cultural landscape opens up new terrain to work upon. Whereas art tends to be limited to museums and galleries, and activism to street demonstrations and state houses, artistic activism is at home in town squares and shopping malls, on billboards or through social media…as well as galleries and state houses. This new terrain, neither overtly “arty” or “political” is more familiar and safer to an audience than a museum or a rally, and thus makes artistic activism more attractive, approachable, and friendly than traditional art or activist practices.”

 “Artistic activism – as an affective image, performance, or experience – is also well suited for an age of cell phone cameras and social networks. People don’t share policy papers, they share things that move them.”

  • Protest and Performative Expression
  • Oration and Dramaturgy
  • Music and Visual

 “Art and activism often conforms to expectations — and for many people those expectations are, unfortunately, negative. Artistic activism is activism that doesn’t look like activism and art that doesn’t look like art.”

 “The ability of artistic activism to surprise us – to show up in unlikely places (e.g. not a gallery) or take on unfamiliar forms (e.g. not a protest march) provides an opportunity to disrupt people’s preconceived notions of art and protest, and their predetermined ideas about the messages we are trying to communicate.”

 

 “While it takes years of professional training to practice (or even understand) law, policy analysis, or governmental lobbying, creativity is a skill we all already possess and can learn to hone and use to great æffect. Indeed, well-honed cultural creativity and artistic expression is often the possession of those — youth, the poor, people of color, migrants and immigrants — that are most marginalized from formal spheres of politics, law, and education. Artistic activism plays to their strengths.”

 “Because artistic activism crosses boundaries, it not only opens up multiple access points for creators and audiences, but also for mass media outlets who may cover events in both arts and politics sections, and for funders who can support projects with arts and culture grants as well as through social justice portfolios.”

 

 “Drawing upon creative processes familiar to arts and design, artistic activism encourages blue sky brainstorming, quick sketches, multiple iterations, rapid prototyping, and a spirit of play — as well as risk, and the acceptance of failure. Approached as a creative process, we are more apt to see multiple solutions to problems, and new pathways to attain our objectives.”

 “Drawing upon creative processes familiar to arts and design, artistic activism encourages blue sky brainstorming, quick sketches, multiple iterations, rapid prototyping, and a spirit of play — as well as risk, and the acceptance of failure. Approached as a creative process, we are more apt to see multiple solutions to problems, and new pathways to attain our objectives.”

Energizes through establishing connection:

“As an activist it is easy to get burnt out as our life becomes increasingly defined by “the struggle.” As an artist it’s easy to get frustrated that the creative work we do has little impact on the issues we care about so deeply. Artistic activism is a way to connect with the artist inside of every activist and the activist within every artist, redrawing connections so that artistic activism generates fun and pleasure rather than sacrifice and guilt and, in the process, reintegrating and re-energizing our lives.”

“Re-energized people revitalize the institutions they work within. In this way, artistic activism is a form of organizational self-care. The purpose and play of artistic activism can reanimate “dead” cultural and civic organizations like museums, galleries, and NGOs from the inside out — but also from the outside in: creativity is infectious. As fun as artistic activism is for those doing it, it’s also exciting for those people on the outside experiencing it.”

 

 “Creating and sustaining lasting change demands a change in values, beliefs and patterns of behavior, that is: cultural change. Culture makes us, as we make it, and culture is the base material of Artistic Activism. Artistic activism draws from culture, to create culture, to impact culture.”

“Art is a means by which to imagine the unimaginable, and artistic activism is the medium that can suggest it as a possibility. Through sound and image and movement, artistic activism can conjure up a vision of what could be in the future and communicate it to others in the here and now. Art gives us the vision. Activism helps us make the road to get there.”

“Artistic activism, as a cultural approach, is inherently non-violent. Although groups have used creative methods for violent ends, the tactic itself is peaceful. Artistic activism is aimed at hearts and minds, not bodies or buildings. The goal is not to force compliance, which art can never do, but to persuade by creating moving experiences that prompt people to question the world as it is, imagine a world as it could be, and join together to make that new world real. Artistic activism is Æffective power.”