Last week we held a second meeting to give shape to what we are calling an international research collaboratory (co-lab) on artistic activism. This is an initiative bringing together researchers from the Aoteroa/New Zealand, China, Denmark, Peru, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. Our collective objective is to generate a …
25 projects. 100 passionate people trained. And millions reached with creativity, humor, and hope: all to protect the freedom to vote. In August 2020, the Center for Artistic Activism put out an open call for creative, strategic, risk-taking projects to support voters and voting in the coming US elections. Within one week we received over …
In this interview, C4AA research fellow Sarah J Halford talks with Phoebe Davies, a social practice artist based in London. In it, Davies discusses her work on constructing social spaces that provide an environment for productive, and often difficult, conversations about politics, sex, gender, and more. She also shares her thoughts on the importance of more collaboration and thoughtful reflection in and around art and activism.
In this interview, C4AA research fellow Sarah J Halford talks with Owen Griffiths, a social practice artist based in Swansea, Wales in the UK. Griffiths shares his strategy for using art projects as tactics to enter into publicly-owned spaces. He collaborates with others to transform these spaces into beautiful and useful landscapes that are co-authored by people in the community. Ultimately, he argues that the art is used to beautify the space, create community buy-in, and keep the space in the hands of the people – rather than sold to a private corporation.
In this interview, Ben Davis, radical art critic and author of 9.5 Theses on Art and Class, talks with C4AA co-founder Stephen Duncombe about his “constructively critical” view of art’s role in activism. Davis discusses some of the trends he sees in contemporary political art and considers the realistic scope of art’s impact on change.
In this interview, C4AA co-director Steve Duncombe talks with Pam Korza about methods of evaluation in artistic activism. They consider the resistance that some artists have to quantitative evaluation, as well how we might evaluate the work from a perspective of aesthetic excellence. Korza also shares her extensive knowledge as co-director of Animating Democracy, an organization that fosters art for social change projects, and the six outcomes that she looks for when evaluating the success (or failure) of a project.
In this interview, C4AA co-founder Steve Duncombe talks with Marlene Ramirez-Cancio, Associate Director of Arts and Media at the Hemispheric Institute. They discuss the elusive nature of evaluating artistic activism through qualitative frameworks. What is the vocabulary for doing so? And why is that vocabulary so difficult to find? Marlene shares her thoughts on these questions and challenges arts funders to become more comfortable with metrics that measure qualities beyond material successes.
In this interview, George Perlov talks with Gan Golan, artistic activist and author of the bestselling children’s book parody “Goodnight Bush” and “The Adventures of Unemployed Man,” the critically-acclaimed graphic novel about the economic crisis. Golan discusses the importance of movement narratives and calls for artists and activists, alike, to figure out ways to measure what a movement means to the public.
In this interview, Fernando Garcia-Dory talks with C4AA student fellow Emily Bellor about his practice of incorporating art into collaborative projects for social change. They discuss his work in cooperative farming as well as the tensions that can arise when the art world meets the activist world.
In this interview, C4AA co-founder Steve Duncombe talks with Favianna Rodriguez, prolific art activist and Executive Director of CultureStrike. She shares her creative process behind the “Migration is Beautiful” butterfly, an image that has been widely adopted as a symbol of the migrant rights movement. They also discuss Rodriguez’s theory of change, which involves a strategic focus on cultural change over policy change, as she argues that policy is “the final manifestation of an idea,” that stems directly from culture.
Last year, we were able to give out grants to some of the thousand-ish C4AA workshop alumni. These artistic activists in Croatia, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, the UK, and Hungary created seven artistic actions to increase public engagement with the seriously problematic issues of the lack marginalized communities’ access to public health care. Throughout 2017, …
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