I’ve just finished reading Art & Social Justice Education: Culture as Commons, edited by Therese Quinn, John Ploof & Lisa Hochtritt (site). The books premise is that art can contribute in a wide range of ways to the work of envisioning and creating a more just world. It’s an expensive purchase, but has some interesting ideas and links to contemporary artists. The book has 3 major themes:
The Commons: shared access to creative practice and art
Our Cultures: nurturing the ways we have developed to live in a community
Towards Futures: imagining & acting to change our world
Here on the blog, I’ll highlight some artists I personally found interesting that you can also perhaps involve in your own curriculum. It’s a long list, so I’ll do it in parts.
PART 1 – THE COMMONS: REDISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES & POWER
1. Justseeds‘ artworks are designed to reveal and celebrate the hidden histories of human and civil rights struggles. Teachers can demonstrate how contemporary artists provide insights into important social/political issues and can model artful forms of civic engagement. Check out the CUT AND PAINT SERIES.
2. Look atHeidi Cody‘s “American Alphabet.” It spells out how pervasive and recognizable images are from corporate visual culture and the symbols transcend status of signifiers and enter our social imaginary. Her work invites us to be critically attentive to visual cultural influences around us.
What does it mean to be a citizen in a world shaped and molded by consumerism?
What are the boundaries between art and consumerism?
3. I’ve blogged aboutKutimanbefore. He creates mash-ups and video collages to create music/videos from content via YouTube.
4. Emily Jaciris a Palestinian-American whose work addresses the plight of Palestinian people through universal themes of home and community.
5. Paula Nicho Cumez‘s ‘work addresses immigration rights, the breaking up of beloved families and what it must feel like to be forced to leave that which you love, all that you know and your home.’ Her work involves Maya Kaqchikel culture, an indigenous community in Guatemala.