What Is Artivism?

It’s a new noun. Activism paired with art.
And the one who’s doing artivism is of course called an artivist.

(I’m borrowing the phrase from Ndungi Githuku of Katya Emmanuel Band 🙂

“I’m a human right artivist… We put human right activism into art,” said Githuku in his elevator pitch on Wednesday (27/5).

His fellow band member Katya Vinywasiki Emmanuel believed music can make greater impact to encourage the youth to stand up against corruption than just preaching in classes. “People listen to music, and it (the message) will go straight to your brain,” Emmanuel said with confidence.

Of course, music is not the only forms of art that can be used to reach the youth. Adrien Tuyaga of Burundi proved that movies and comics can be the perfect means to reach the child soldiers in his country.

Meanwhile, John Martin of the Pan Intercultural Arts showed us that theatre can be a powerful tool as well. The Pan Intercultural has held numerous theatre training in South Asian slums, involving the people to make their own plays concerning their own issues. Convincing them that an alternate, better future is definitely possible.

But how can art influence people that much? “It gets under the skin, the art can touch the rather dry subject of corruption and governance. Through art, we can change mindset and behaviour,” Martin said.

Can’t agree more than that, can we?

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