Art As Activism: How It Heals

Recent events have challenged us in many ways, and responses to these challenges have varied hugely.  From grassroots demonstrations in support of immigrants and refugees to increasing pressure on their political representatives, from buying guns and stocking supplies to renewing their passports in preparation for flight, people have shown growing displeasure with the current state of affairs both national and global and have sought to regain some sense of balance, some peace of mind.  The most fascinating response, however, has been a burst of creative expression unparalleled since the 60s, when opposition to America’s involvement in Vietnam reached its peak.

This surge of creativity has incited events such as the Women’s March with its pink pussy hats, the deluge of passionate posters that enliven every demonstration,  cartoonists’ jubilant mockery of the Trump administration,  late night show hosts’ redux of each day’s “Twitterstorm,” and even tongue-in-cheek analyses by serious media pundits of White House misadventures.

Rather than sinking into a sea of depression and despair, liberal America seems to have bounced back from the shock of our recent presidential election with cheeky humor and sharper wit.  What’s behind this feisty behavior?  Have we lost our moral compass?  Have we lost our collective mind?

The answer is really very simple.  Art as activism is healing.  It restores our sense of efficacy, our feeling of personal power.  It offers a fairly safe and effective outlet for our most intense emotions, and even when we know we’re mostly speaking to the choir, we also sense that on some level our opponents are getting the message.

The Fall issue of Four Winds Journal and preceding Webinar will address the phenomenon of art as activism:  motivation, development over time, who participates, and how it can heal individuals and communities.  We hope it will give our viewers and readers a fresh perspective on these “interesting times.”

July 30, 2017 is the deadline for submission of articles or art work.  Please read the Submission Guidelines page on our website and send your submission to:

Attention Editors

journal@orenda-arts.org