Artistic Activism

La Voz de Galicia – February 16, 2018 →

Cristina PatoWe were talking about the artist’s role in society, about the idea of art as a kind of activism, and about the various types of actions, we take to ensure that our voices are heard when we react to what occurs in our microworld. Around those five cups of coffee was a Syrian plastic artist of Armenian origin, an American composer and violinist of Chinese origin, a New Yorker, a Hawaiian and I. This chat was really a work meeting to organize a course about the arts and activism, and the way art is related to hope, or with the thrill of hope.

The Syrian-Armenian artist, Kevork Mourad, told us that in the technique he developed to visually illustrate sound and music in real time, he always tried to tell complete stories. But once war took over his country, he decided to tell, through his language, only fifty percent of his people’s difficult story so that those viewing his work, could develop the ability to imagine the other, untold fifty percent of the story either in a real or in a figurative manner…

My Japanese friend, Kojiro Umezaki from The Silkroad Project, always speaks about the idea that the arts open the doors to imagine what is and is not possible, and that possibility leads us to have hope. And I want to continue thinking that each person is free to decide to be or not to be an activist with their art, with their voice: having talent is a responsibility and learning to use it as such implies accepting the idea of activism, of silence and of ARTivism as well.

And it is curious to think that sometimes, even nowadays, speaking and writing in Galician, appears to be a kind of activism…

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