Creative Resistance is a special edition podcast mini-series in affiliation with the Center for Artistic Activism and is hosted by Research Fellow, Sarah J Halford.


In this episode, we heard from art activists: Ron Goldberg, Elliot Crown, Avram Finkelstein

From Avram (on the context of the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic):

“Well, it was pretty nightmarish actually. In 1984 – it was before Rock Hudson was diagnosed, Reagan had never mentioned the word, it was a very private moment to be experiencing what I did…Of course, I thought I was going to die myself – there was no HIV test back then, so you just had to make assumptions about yourself. And you have to realize people were literally dying in hospital corridors and being thrown out of their apartments and dying on the street. It was really bad! It’s impossible to understand how bad it was.”

Avram Finkelstein (pictured at center, circa 1985)

Photo credit: Avram Finkelstein (pictured at center, circa 1985)

Key takeaways from episode 4:

Context can make or break any action. It is perhaps the single most important element of artistic activism, as there’s a context for your audience, your tactics, and even logistical things like location and the weather.

The various contexts that we’re working with need to be on our minds consistently when creating artistic activism, and a helpful way to do that is to practice shifting our focus from the little picture to the big picture and back again.

The more you look, the more contextual elements you’ll see that need to be taken into consideration.

Music By (in order of appearance):

  • Theme: “Drum Flute Loop in G Minor” by Enoe
  • “Conveyor Belt” by Podington Bear
  • “Adventure Darling” by Gillicuddy
  • “Please Listen Carefully” by Jahzzar

Music courtesy of

Special thanks to Professor Stephen Duncombe.

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