Art as Activism: Public and Collaborative Arts in South Africa

Wendy Ross
To add a paper, Login.

Art as Activism: public and collaborative arts in South Africa. Wendy Ross. The research is based on the premise that creative expression is an inherent need in human beings that contributes to spiritual fulfilment and plays an important role in the mindfulness of a society. The arts offer an appropriate and dynamic mode of visual communication and provide a positive pro-active role in creating awareness of many social issues, becoming a powerful agent for social change.

Artworks are presented that not only address everyday social concerns but become tools of public empowerment within a new democratic South Africa. The presentation explores pro-active public and collaborative community arts, examining their relevance within notions of social critique, empowerment and the dissemination of information while creating awareness of human rights and social injustices. It is essential to find meaningful ways of integrating art and society where art becomes modes of public and group expression and activities that address past histories and present conditions. Activist art takes account of the people and the place as the genesis for its manifestations. Artistic expression has the potential "to give people a voice" and enable them to reclaim their place in society.

Keywords: Activism, Art, Awareness of Social Issues, Collaborative, Community, Empowerment, Public
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Wendy Ross

Senior Lecturer in ICT in Education, College of Humanities and Education
Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology, University of South Africa

Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

I have been involved in land art, public collaborative and community arts, outreach and "wasteart" dealing with recycling and pollution. My interest has always been in the land and the use of art to create an awareness of the need for a paradigm shift with regard to the planet. It is my belief that art can play an important role in a social context particularly in South Africa to build capacity and enable communities to take control of there lives through pro-active creative interventions that change and address issues relevant to their social conditions.

Ref: H06P0466