March 24, 2014 In Arts and sustainability
Arts and activism
I was reading a couple of days ago about platformlondon.org.
According to its website:
Platform is different. We combine art, activism, education and research in one organisation. This approach enables us to create unique projects driven by the need for social and ecological justice.
This got me thinking about this relationship between art, activism, education and research. I remember years ago reading some of the social theorists writing, in the 1970s and early 80’s I guess, of the importance of the arts in social critique. These writers suggested one of the key social roles of creativity was to critique – to push boundaries, to focus on power relations and inequalities and to question that which had previously been unquestioned. They also highlighted how there was a growing tendency for the arts to become commodified – the critiques being taken over by the market and ‘marketability’.
Now days I have forgotten a lot of their arguments, their examples and I’ve not kept up with the current debates with all this. But I was pleased to see that there are still organisations which combine activism, critique and analysis using the arts as a vehicle for change towards ecological futures.