Taking Action Through Art

Art - including visual art, poetry, music, film, and theatre - can be used to cultivate awareness and inspire change. On this page you'll find resources for artistic activism, or artivism, and some art inspiration.

Why Artistic Activism: Nine Reasons

By Stephen Duncombe and Steve Lambert,

Centre for Artistic Activism

Read the full article here.

  1. Artistic activism mobilizes affect and effect, or, combined in a new word, ÆFFECT (pronounced Aye-fect)

  2. Artistic activism THRIVES in the contemporary landscape

  3. Artistic activism has been used THROUGHOUT history

  4. Artistic activism creates OPENINGS

  5. Artistic activism is ACCESSIBLE

  6. Artistic activism stimulates a CULTURE of CREATIVITY

  7. Artistic activism ENERGIZES people and communities

  8. Artistic activism is about the LONG game

  9. Artistic activism is PEACEFUL and PERSUASIVE

A Better World
Is Paintable: A guide for activists

Art always has been for and by the people. Making art isn't just about creating something beautiful, it's about the process of creating community and strengthening our bonds of solidarity.

This booklet provides step-by-step guides for hosting an art build, making stencils and parachute banners, preparing songs, and more! Check it out here.

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Art in Action

(@viktorianorth, @rockies.reapeat/ Instagram)

Rockies Repeat is a documentary, exhibit, and digital storytelling capsule that bears witness to climate change in the Canadian Rockies through the eyes of emerging artists.
 

Their all-woman collective of Indigenous and settler artists travel by foot to revisit iconic sites in the Canadian Rockies painted by early Banff artist, Catharine Robb Whyte a century ago as a bellwether for climate change.

(Image Source)

Created by artists Christi Belcourt and Isaac Murdoch, this painting at MacEwan University's kihêw waciston Indigenous Centre in Edmonton is aimed at sending a blunt message about climate change and the threat to our environment. Read more here.

(@southedmontonyouth/Instagram)

The Environmental Mural is a project made to promote their vision for a green, pollution-free Edmonton. One of the ever-concerning issues around the world is the environment, and the impact we have on it. Thus, a group of their members took it upon themselves to speak up, through this beautiful and creative mural. They hope it brings the community joy and reminds you to consider the impact you personally have on the planet

(@earthguardians_yyc/Instagram)

Flower of Waste
The petals and inner piece of the flower are made out of recycled and weaved together plastic bags, to raise visual awareness about plastic pollution. The dyes were made from beets and turmeric, to make sure we weren’t using anything harmful to the environment. All the materials except for one 2 x 4 are completely re-purposed and recycled. The Flower of Waste is now being used as a tool for education about waste.

(@adamrobb/Twitter)

This mosaic mural was designed and built through a collaboration between students at the Career and Technology Centre in Calgary and Michelena Bamford. The mural is part of their ongoing efforts to allow students to help design real spaces in our communities.