Basic tips from an up and coming activist

By Hannah Warren

When I was growing up, my high school had a small writer’s club that held two annual events each year. Though mainly generalized by students as poetry reading, there were some who made the event a mission to make music, weave words into complex stories, to make their voices vessels of art.  Students from all different groups often came up to display their talents while also letting open a small window for strangers to embrace their aura of emotion.  However, now more than ever, that window needs to be upgraded to a door. Red poster with black and white lettering and the face of a woman with flowers in her hair that says Make Art Not War.Though one doesn’t always need an elevated platform to be heard in order to resist, persist, or even exercise a peaceful belief system, you must be ready to perform in order to promote activism.

In this day and age, everyone needs to understand that for everything and every thought set loose on the world, there is always an underlying impact. So, know your cause. Not every piece of art needs to be affiliated with one, you could write a poem about cats with the meaning simply being that you adore cats and that is fine, but be ready for an assumptive populace to think that all cat lovers love cats the way you do. Individual cat lovers have their own way of showing love to cats but in the time where everyone has come to view group branding as a way to understand a stranger completely, knowing what cause your art (and you yourself) are advocating for makes it that much more powerful for those observing as well as yourself.

Another thing everyone can do to turn their art piece into a work of activism is to collaborate. Find other people that share your calling to a cause, and figure out how to use your collective creative stylings to make into an even bigger event or project. No matter who you are or where you come from, there are people out there who think in similar ways to you and live similar lifestyles. You just have to find them, and then realize that you need to not only show others your passion but also come to terms with the fact that the world must understand and know your cause. Work together to layout the goals of your collaborative art piece and let your collective passion guide you.

The last basic tip on transforming your art into activism today is to listen. Basically, this would be the point in which you’d find out the results. Sometimes the impact is immediate and intense, other times it will inspire on a smaller scale. For those working in the vision impaired community though this model, and others like it, are so important because of the techniques and inspiration you can give to others. By listening to what others say about your work, you can expand upon your art, maybe creating a whole exhibition on your cause, you can learn from listening, understand from it and make yourself that much more stronger. Your activism could lead others to creating art and eventually give them the keys to open up the doors of their emotion until everyone’s door is open.

*image from www.shepardfaireyprints.com