Art can spread ideas, lift our spirits and express our discontent in truly powerful ways. And when Art is spread or created as a collective it can unite a movement. Songs for change, graffiti, knitting, theatre pieces, graphics shared across social media; see just a few examples below to be inspired.
The Occupied Sun highlights the role of billionaire media owners in the spreading of propaganda to maintain the status quo (for example that austerity is necessary, that fracking is a good idea that climate change is exaggerated etc). As a spoof of the Sun “news” paper it can be shared across facebook easily.
A special edition has been created for printing and distributing in communities. A web page for “Occupy Rupert Murdoch week” points out that there is nothing illegal in moving news papers around in a newsagents.
It can feel disempowering to constantly see newspapers spreading misinformation. If enough of us cheekily moved the worst offenders and shared art like the Occupied Sun we would help break the power of a billionaire led media.
In 2016 the British Government are making a decision about whether to spend over £100billion on a new Trident nuclear missile system. People all over the world contributed to a demonstration against this system by knitting pieces of a seven mile peace scarf, which has been used on numerous demonstrations to raise awareness. Over 20 years of knitting went into this collective art protest!
The organiser Jaine, shares her story:
“It started last October when I rocked up to an anti nuclear demo at Hinkley - complete with my packed lunch, crochet hooks and bobble hat. I like a good day out. One thing led to another, and before you know it, I had singlehandedly scaled a 7 foot high barbed wire fence. My life would never be the same again…..That day I not only jumped a fence, but stepped over a line in my own head, that had been telling me that everything is O.K., play by the rules, behave. Everything is not O.K., and never more so have we needed acts of civil disobedience to send a clear message out to the waiting world: ENOUGH.”
“If graffiti changed anything it would be illegal” Banksy
Check the laws in your specific country- graffiti generally is illegal and seen as criminal damage (the penalties in the UK are relatively minor). Here is a really insightful and well researched blog about the role of graffiti in social change movements.