Art as Activism

Tonight I attended an Art & Activism event at Mars Cafe in Dogtown, hosted by ICCI. There was spoken word, a music and poetry piece, and a lecture by art activist Jordan Weber.

I was moved.

In this town, the silence can often be stifling. Even at the event, I saw a young man in the very movement of snapping his fingers to show support for another artist and stopped, mid-finger-twitch. I could feel his fear at being noticed and rejected for his soul's reaction.

So many of us want so deeply to love, to show solidarity within our communities, to express our lack of patience with those who govern us.

How is it that creating a public piece of art, one unoffensive and with a positive message, how is it that an act of love can result in violence and power plays?

I am inspired by the individuals I heard from tonight, and am finding more and more courage to speak out -- for those people who are kindling my fire, they are young. And I don't mean to be agest, but their courage stands in stark contrast to my lack of it at that age. I snap for them, and beam a fucking gigantic smile, because I wasn't even awake like that at 15.

I am moved, and I want to act, and I feel alone.

But.

No one ever said working for what you believe in would be easy.