Art as Resistance
Artists and writers, now is your moment. Oppressed individuals across the globe need you to bring their struggles to mainstream light through your art.
You were given a gift, and now is the time to use it to provoke positive change. No leader lives forever, but words persist past lifetimes. Images can sway public opinion; you know the persuasive nature of propaganda, the profound impact of language, photographs, symbols, and art. People will try to use such tools to achieve evil ends, but we must resist through our own powerful messages.
As artists, we also must remind ourselves and others of the value of criticism. We allow editors, teachers, and loved ones to give constructive criticism of our work in order to improve its quality and to ensure an effective final result. The First Amendment grants Americans the freedom of speech (among other freedoms, such as the right to assembly and the freedom of religion), which allows us to not only voice support for specific causes or issues, but also to voice and demonstrate dissent. We must fight to preserve this freedom, as some may wish to silence us. Those of us who possess societal privileges have a responsibility to use our platforms to speak out against injustice enacted toward oppressed groups of people.
The art community can be perceived as a threat by tyrannical governments because we are unafraid to depict the truth; in fact, we feel obligated to show the world as we have experienced it. Be bold in your choices and stand by your actions over the next four years, Americans.
Readers elsewhere, please continue to engage in your passion, whether an artistic pursuit or otherwise. As author and spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson said, "As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence actually liberates others."