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Harness the power of art

November 29, 2010

Ahhh… After a day of going to the Climate Village and wishing that I had undergone a Spanish crash course before I came to Cancun, I’m listening to Idioteque by Radiohead (hear above) The lyrics paint a bleak dystopian picture of the future (Who’s in a bunker?/ Women and children first) and is a timely reminder that “We’re not scare mongering/ This is really happening.” It got me thinking about a workshop that Judy, Wen Yun, Logesh and myself went on the last day of COY that was conducted by Kevin Buckland and Paulina. It was entitled ‘artivism’ which is activism through art and I now better appreciate the power that art harnesses.

Art speaks a language universal to all. Anthropologists have found that there are basic emotions that even tribes from the most remote parts of the jungles can identify with and art builds upon this awareness. Too many a times we have been arguing about policies, articles and parentheses that we have forgotten about the moral side of the issue- the extent of the urgency. Art becomes this provision.

Harness the power of wind, no art. I believe that solutions for alternative energies are already there, we need a medium to inspire political will. After all, as rightfully pointed out by Kevin, our leaders are human. They have children who need a future and these politicians are aware of their influence on these futures. A protest Kevin led with 350, dressed up as animals found policemen being unable to suppress their smiles.

Here are some tips on how one can effectively generate publicity for campaigns:

  1. 1. Get people curious

Instead of in-your-face campaigning, try something simple like just placing a key word around campus. This draws people to ask you about the key idea behind the key word.
Eg. 350 that was done recently in Brighton, England led by Thom Yorke.

More on this here: http://pitchfork.com/news/40834-photos-thom-yorkes-human-art-project/

  1. 2. Make revolutions irresistible

So that people can’t help but join and this becomes THE culture.

Hope this makes the environmental movement less stale and abstract and more personal to you guys. I’ll add a video of a simple street theatre act that was put together in just half an hour soon. Ft. Judy, Logesh and Wen Yun. 😛

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