With Wilson Valentín-Escobar

In moments of political and economic crisis, activist-artists, or artivists, often respond to the call for social change. They generate art as social action and also help realize a new social world into being. Drawing from disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives, this seminar investigates the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of creative artistic resistance. We will discuss the inter-relationships between: art, activism, and the social imagination; the tensions between the “real” and the “imaginary”; public art and community engagement; the role of art in social movements; the function and responsibility of artistic institutions (museums, community art centers, etc.); the relationship between art, gentrification, and creative economies in under-resourced communities; how art can build new or alternative public sphere(s); analyze political art vs. activist art; and understand community-based art vs. art-based community making. The course emphasizes socially engaged art as a collective participatory practice that facilitates emancipation and transformation.

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