Art activism has emerged, mainly among urban youth, as a counter-cultural movement of the arts. Identifying itself with social movement themes from the past, counter-militarism, racial and sexual discrimination for example, but focused on addressing these social problems through cultural expression, this type of activism has become a new type of gathering community that did not historically identify with tmainstream arts or social movements. Many of its practitioners integrate multiple art forms like mural and graffiti art, stenciling, music, street theater, poetry, performance, and appropriating temporary locations for events. This movement stands as a more inclusive, populist avenue for disenfranchised youth with opportunities for young people looking to self-identify outside the traditional spaces reserved for them. In this fact it can be listed as a viable military alternative.
New York City
NYC is especially rich in cultural opportunities to form the foundation for exploring alternatives to the military. Much has been lost in the intervening years since the emergence of a more conservative municipal government and the effects of wealth expansion on middle-class and poor New Yorkers but this is a national trend in U.S. cities as the financial markets have replaced real jobs for working people. Yet many work in the struggle for social justice and there is the space for many more to follow as regular people look for new avenues to explore options to survive and to remain free from the over-influence of Wall Street. The movement to drive citizens marginalized by unjust governance into the military serves the long term economical interests at home and abroad of the wealthy but can be opposed by youth who take cultural work as their foundation to oppose cultural militarization. This page submitted by the Ya-Ya Network.
Here are some recommended links available to better inform you about art activism in NYC. This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.
- Chris Jordan, Photography, Intolerable Beauty: Portraits of American Mass Consumption
- Rini Templeton (She created images and made them available to activists for their use)
- Docs Populi dedicated to documenting and publishing oppositional artwork of the late 20th century
- Remixed Propaganda
- Guernica: Testimony of War
- Poster Boy NYC's photostream
- The Granny Peace Brigade Project - Regina Silvers
Articles on the web: (Not necessarily Counter-recruitment related)
- Protest art: Anti-Bloomberg posters decorate Union Square Park (photos)
- The Critical Voice
- The Pen vs. the Sword: Artists Against War - Mother Jones (archived)
- Stencil Graffiti walking through a museum called the streets
Books & Documentaries: (Not necessarily Counter-recruitment related)
- Art Gangs: Protest & Counterculture in New York City (archived)
- This Space Available (archived) - A documentary film directed by Gwenaelle Gobe