Artivism is a portmanteau word combining art and activism.

Artivism takes roots or branches off of a 1997 gathering between Chicano artists from East Los Angeles and the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. The words "Artivist" and "Artivism" were popularized through a variety of events, actions and artworks via artists and musicians such as Quetzal, Ozomatli, Mujeres de Maiz among other East LA artists and at spaces such as Self Help Graphics & Art.

Artivism developed in recent years as antiwar and anti-globalization protests emerged and proliferated. In many cases artivists attempt to push political agendas by the means of art, but a focus on raising social, environmental, and technical awareness is also common. Besides using traditional mediums like film and music to raise awareness or push for change, an artivist can also be involved in culture jamming, subvertising, street art, spoken word, protesting, and activism.[1][2][3]

Artivist Eve Ensler stated:

... This passion has all the ingredients of activism, but is charged with the wild creations of art. Artivism—where edges are pushed, imagination is freed, and a new language emerges altogether." Bruce Lyons has written: "... artivism ... promotes the essential understanding that ... [humans] ... can, through courageous creative expression, experience the unifying power of love when courage harnesses itself to the task of art + social responsibility.[1][2][3]

You Cut Art, You Cut Culture
You Cut Art, You Cut Culture by Artica Concepts
Bomb-hugger by Banksy
Work by John Fekner at Madison Avenue, New York City, USA
Greece Next Economic Model by Bleepsgr in Athens, Greece

By 2008, the term had made its way into academic writing, with Chela Sandoval and Guisela Latorre published a piece on Chicano/a artivism and M. K. Asante used the term in reference to Black artists.[4][5]

There is a chapter on artivism in the book It's Bigger Than Hip Hop by M. K. Asante. Asante writes of the artivist:

The artivist (artist + activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression—by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation.

Giving to the Poor, a stencil by American street artist Above addressing the issue of homelessness. Lisbon, Portugal, 2008.


Collectives and organizations

See also


  1. ^ a b Politics, Power and Passion, The New York Times, December 2, 2011. Please see the fifth segment by Eve Ensler.
  2. ^ a b Jeanmarie Simpson -- Artivist in the Modern Landscape (Part 1), Dylan Brody, The Huffington Post, 2011.10.03
  3. ^ a b Jeanmarie Simpson -- Artivist in the Modern Landscape (Part 2), Dylan Brody, The Huffington Post, 2011.10.05
  4. ^ Chela Sandoval and Guisela Latorre, ""Chicana/o Artivism: Judy Baca's Digital Work with Youth of Color," in Learning Race and Ethnicity, MIT Press, 2007.
  5. ^ M.K. Asante, Jr. It's Bigger Than Hip Hop, St. Martin's Press, 2009.

Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community (including writing letters to newspapers), petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage (or boycott) of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.

Activism may be performed on a day-to-day basis in a wide variety of ways, including through the creation of art (artivism), computer hacking (hacktivism), or simply in how one chooses to spend their money (economic activism). For example, the refusal to buy clothes or other merchandise from a company as a protest against the exploitation of workers by that company could be considered an expression of activism. However, the most highly visible and impactful activism often comes in the form of collective action, in which numerous individuals coordinate an act of protest together in order to make a bigger impact. Collective action that is purposeful, organized, and sustained over a period of time becomes known as a social movement.Historically, activists have used literature, including pamphlets, tracts, and books to disseminate their messages and attempt to persuade their readers of the justice of their cause. Research has now begun to explore how contemporary activist groups use social media to facilitate civic engagement and collective action combining politics with technology.The Online Etymology Dictionary records the English words "activism" and "activist" as in use in the political sense from the year 1920 or 1915 respectively.

Arts centre

An art centre or arts center is distinct from an art gallery or art museum. An arts centre is a functional community centre with a specific remit to encourage arts practice and to provide facilities such as theatre space, gallery space, venues for musical performance, workshop areas, educational facilities, technical equipment, etc.In the United States, "art centers" are generally either establishments geared toward exposing, generating, and making accessible art making to arts-interested individuals, or buildings that rent primarily to artists, galleries, or companies involved in art making.

In Britain, art centres began after World War II and gradually changed from mainly middle-class places to 1960s and 1970s trendy, alternative centres and eventually in the 1980s to serving the whole community with a programme of enabling access to wheelchair users and disabled individuals and groups.

In the rest of Europe it is common among most art centres that they are partly government funded, since they are considered to have a positive influence on society and economics according to the Rhineland model philosophy. A lot of those organisations originally started in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s as squatted spaces and were later legalized.

Barbie Liberation Organization

The Barbie Liberation Organization or BLO, sponsored by RTMark, are a group of artists and activists involved in culture jamming. They gained notoriety in 1993 by switching the voice boxes on talking G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls. The BLO performed "surgery" on a reported 300–500 dolls and then returned them to the shelves of stores, an action they refer to as shopgiving. This action resulted in girls opening their new Teen Talk Barbie to hear it say phrases such as "vengeance is mine" and boys hearing their G.I. Joe say "The beach is the place for summer." (or Bleeps) is the pseudonym used by M.V. Kakouris, who is a Greek artist. Bleeps creates political street art, paintings and installations; he is involved with the artivism movement. Most of his works can be seen in Athens, but a number of others can be found in cities and rural areas around Greece and Europe.

Chela Sandoval

Chela Sandoval (born July 31, 1956), associate professor of Chicana Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, is a noted theorist of postcolonial feminism and third world feminism. Beginning with her 1991 pioneering essay 'U.S. Third World Feminism: The Theory and Method of Oppositional Consciousness in the Postmodern World' Sandoval emerged as a significant voice for women of color and decolonial feminism.

Community arts

Community arts, also sometimes known as "dialogical art", "community-engaged" or "community-based art," refers to artistic activity based in a community setting. Works from this genre can be of any media and is characterized by interaction or dialogue with the community. Often professional artists collaborate with people who may not otherwise normally actively engage in the arts. The term was defined in the late-1960s and spawned a movement which grew in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia. In Scandinavia, the term "community art" means more often contemporary art project.

Often community art is based in economically deprived areas, with a community-oriented, grassroots approach. Members of a local community will come together to express concerns or issues through an artistic process, sometimes this may involve professional artists or actors. These communal artistic processes act as a catalyst to trigger events or changes within a community or even at a national or international level.

In English-speaking countries, community art is often seen as the work of community arts centre. Visual arts (fine art, video, new media art), music, and theater are common mediums in community art centers. Many arts companies in the UK do some community-based work, which typically involves developing participation by non-professional members of local communities.

Elevate Festival

The Elevate Festival is an annual festival that takes place around the Schloßberg in Graz, Austria. The aim of the festival is to create a better understanding of the most important issues of our time and to discuss groundbreaking alternatives, innovative projects, and various initiatives in the realm of civil society, social movements and dedicated activism. Elevate combines contemporary music, art and political discourse. The organizational body is a Nonprofit organization. All the discourse and film programme of the festival is free of charge. The performing artists at Elevate usually present an eclectic array of styles, beyond conventions and the mainstream.


In Internet activism, hacktivism or hactivism (a portmanteau of hack and activism) is the use of technology to promote a political agenda or a social change. With roots in hacker culture and hacker ethics, its ends are often related to the free speech, human rights, or freedom of information movements.The term was coined in 1994 by a Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc) member known as "Omega" in an e-mail to the group. Due to the variety of meanings of its root words, hacktivism is sometimes ambiguous and there exists significant disagreement over the kinds of activities and purposes it encompasses. Some definitions include acts of cyberterrorism while others simply reaffirm the use of technological hacking to effect social change.

Khaled Ramadan

Khaled Ramadan (born in 1973) consultant, curator, filmmaker educator, and cultural writer.

Currently, he is working as an examiner for the higher artistic educational programmes under The Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and as an evaluator of Alto University professorship program. He is the co-editor of the new book, Journalism in Times of War, by Al Jazeera Media Institute, (2018) Aljazeera TV Doha. He is the new appointed director of the Media Art Research Space – MARC, Production and Exhibition Spaces of Art and Film - Antalya, open in April 2017. Previously, Ramadan has worked as director of BMAF, Muscat, a senior advisor for the Maldives Ministry of Culture and for the Danish Arts Council, and as an external consultant for the Prince Claus Fund, the Manifesta Foundation, and the Nordic Institute for Contemporary Arts (NIFCA).

Ramadan has curated and co-curated projects like The Third Guangzhou Triennial at the Guangdong Museum of Modern Art, China and UCCA, Beijing; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, KW Berlin, Germany and Outflow, Kumho Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea. In 2013, he was the appointed curator for the Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. In 2010, together with Chamber of Public Secrets, he was appointed co-curator of Manifesta 8 in Spain.Ramadan and Alfredo Cramerotti are the co-founder of the art collective Chamber of Public Secrets, which has existed since 2004. In 2006, Ramadan co-founded Doculogia, a platform for critical media. In 2009, Al-Jazeera TV produced a documentary about Ramadan's activities and achievements.Ramadan is a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), and the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art (IKT) and [21]

He is a nominator of The Sovereign Asian Art Prize, The Jameel Prize, International Award for Contemporary Art and Design and the Prince Claus Fund Awards.

He is the author of Peripheral Insider: Perspectives on Contemporary Internationalism in Visual Culture, published by Copenhagen University Press, 2007.He regularly contributes to international magazines and journals on topics such as art, media, aesthetics and social activism, latest e.g. in Border Thinking: Disassembling Histories of Racialized Violence, ed. Marina Gržinić, Sternberg Press (2018). Set City, the Age of Reality Cinematography, is the title of Khaled Ramadan’s contribution to the book. Trans-Visuality, published by Liverpool University Press.

Also recent work, The Panache of Artivism within the Imperial Narrative of the Middle East, published in 2017 in the book, Independent Republic of Culture - Edited by Serhan Ada, published by Cultural Policy and Management Research Centre, İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları/ Istanbul Bilgi University Press 2017. Ramadan’s art-house filmmaking and theoretical writing has rewarded him a specialisation in cinematic visual analysis and aesthetic framing.

He assisted aestheticizing several productions at the Film City in Denmark and the TV station AlJazeera.

His best cinematic visual analysis contribution is the essay, Set City - Post-Snuff Film and the New Age of Reality Cinematography, in Border Thinking, ed. Prof. Marina Gržinić, part of the publication series of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna 2018.

Ramadan’s writing are published with among others:

Slavoj Zizek, Irit Rogoff, Benjamin R. Barber, Bernadette Buckley, Horacio González, Boris Groys, W.J.T. Mitchell, Ken Neil, Lila Pastoriza, James A. Walker, Peter Weibel, Joseba Zulaika, Hamid Dabashi, Thomas McEvilley, Sarat Maharaj, Rasheed Araeen, Gavin Jantjes, Simon Sheikh, Maaretta Jaukkuri, Gao Shiming, Max Ryynanen, Zygmunt Bauman and Antonio Zaya.

Latest videography:

RobOman. Arabian Gulf, 2018; Outsourcing Torture. AJ co-production. 2016; Floating Community. Cambodia 2016; Romiah Selfie. Lebanon, 2015; Café Fishawy. Egypt, 2014; Maldives To Be or Not. Maldives 2013; The Shadow of San Anton. Spain, 2010. I Told President Mubarak. Egypt 2010. Eyes in Hand, about blind artist Esraf Armagan. Spain 2010. Out of Gaza. Gaza strip, 2009. Quest for the Brotherhood. Egypt, 2008.

Arab Media Landscape. Dubai, UAE, 2007; Mapping the South. Lebanon, 2006; Comrade Alfredo Neri. Denmark-Sweden-Italy, 2005; Wide Power. Lebanon, 2004.

He participated in among others:

For the Love of Air Liquid. Opening exhibition - Media Art Research Center (MARC), Antalya, April 2018.

What is left? Frei_raum Q21 exhibition space, Vienna, Austria, 2016.

Be-diversity, MUSE di Trento, Italy 2015.

A Room of His Own, The Artsonje Center Seoul 2014.

Overflow, The Politics of Water, Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul 2014.

The Maldives Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale 2013.

Manifesta 8, Spain, 2010.

Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Modern Art, China 2008. UCCA, Beijing, China, 2008.

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid 2007. Video Brazil. KW Berlin, Germany, 2006.

MUSE - Museo delle Scienze di Trento, Italy.

Kumho Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea.

Museet for Samtidskunst, Roskilde, Denmark.

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, NYC. USA.

Queens Museum of Art, New York City, NY. USA.

Quartier Éphémère, Fonderie Darling, Montreal, Canada.

The Third Guangzhou Triennial Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China.

Casino Luxembourg. Luxembourg.

Ars Baltica Triennale der Fotokunst.

Vejle Museum of Art, Denmark.

Pori Art Museum, Finland.

Skopje Paranoia - Freud Museum, London.

Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade, Belgrade.

Minority Report - Aarhus Festival of Contemporary Art. Denmark.

Neue Galerie Graz - Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria.

Neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst e.V. (NGBK), Berlin; Stadtgalerie Kiel, Kiel; Andrejsala, Riga; KUMU Art Museum of Estonia, Tallinn.

L.J. Roberts

L.J. Roberts (sometimes credited as Lacey Jane Roberts) is an American textile artist. Roberts, who is genderqueer and uses singular they pronouns, explores queer and feminist politics in their work.

Laguna Canyon Project

The Laguna Canyon Project (1980-2010), a long-term environmental art project, used a variety of tactics and techniques to focus attention on the bucolic Laguna Canyon Road, one of the last undeveloped passages to the Pacific Ocean. The project, created by photographic artists Jerry Burchfield and Mark Chamberlain, was a response to explosive growth in south Orange County and especially to the threats of development within their hometown of Laguna Beach, California. What began as a 10-year project lasted for three decades.

Over its first 10 years, the project drew an ever-expanding number of supporters. It empowered local artists and concerned citizens to get actively involved in the fate of the Canyon, while informing the greater Orange County, California about the environmental issues.

The project reached its high point in 1989 when, in celebration of the Orange County Centennial and the Sesquicentennial of the discovery of photography, the art partners erected a giant photographic mural in a critical location of the Canyon. They built this 636-foot-long mural, entitled The Tell, in the Sycamore Hills area of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.As this public installation was located on Laguna Canyon Road—the main artery into Laguna Beach—and across this road from a proposed massive housing development, it became the focal point and catalyst for massive public demonstrations, protesting that project.

The Tell ultimately served a crucial role in the preservation of this region.

From October 18, 2015 through January 17, 2016, an exhibition on the Laguna Canyon Project, titled "The Canyon Project: Artivism," was held at Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California.The book, "The Laguna Canyon Project: Refining Artivism," was published in 2018 by Laguna Wilderness Press.

Martha Gonzalez (musician)

Martha Gonzalez is a Chicana artivista (artist/activist) musician and feminist music theorist. She is an assistant professor in the Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies at Scripps College. She is also a lead singer, percussionist, and songwriter for the band Quetzal, which won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Album.


Neoism is a parodistic -ism. It refers both to a specific subcultural network of artistic performance and media experimentalists, and more generally to a practical underground philosophy. It operates with collectively shared pseudonyms and identities, pranks, paradoxes, plagiarism and fakes, and has created multiple contradicting definitions of itself in order to defy categorization and historization


Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (support base). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and airbrushes, can be used. The final work is also called a painting.

Painting is an important form in the visual arts, bringing in elements such as drawing, gesture (as in gestural painting), composition, narration (as in narrative art), or abstraction (as in abstract art). Paintings can be naturalistic and representational (as in a still life or landscape painting), photographic, abstract, narrative, symbolistic (as in Symbolist art), emotive (as in Expressionism), or political in nature (as in Artivism).

A portion of the history of painting in both Eastern and Western art is dominated by religious art. Examples of this kind of painting range from artwork depicting mythological figures on pottery, to Biblical scenes Sistine Chapel ceiling, to scenes from the life of Buddha or other images of Eastern religious origin.

In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. The support for paintings includes such surfaces as walls, paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer, pottery, leaf, copper and concrete, and the painting may incorporate multiple other materials including sand, clay, paper, plaster, gold leaf, as well as objects.

Santiago Mbanda Lima

Santiago Mbanda Lima, also known as Santiago D’Almeida Ferreira, born in Viseu, Portugal, on May 18, 1989, is an Angolan-Portuguese artivist. He is co-founder and co-director of the non-governmental organization Ação Pela Identidade (Action For Identity, API), of which he was the first president. He was the first intersex person to become publicly visible in Portugal, while also advocating for anti-racist and feminist causes.

Svetlana Reingold

Svetlana Reingold (Hebrew: סבטלנה ריינגולד‎) is an Israeli museologist and curator, who is currently serving as Chief Curator of Haifa Museum of Art.

The Fearless Collective

The Fearless Collective, started by contemporary artist Shilo Shiv Suleman, is a collective of visual artists, activists, photographers and filmmakers who use their work to address rape culture and gender violence. They focus on "artivism" using murals and community based art to empower women and their communities to raise their voices and build safe public spaces. The collective is based in India but has done work in multiple countries, including Nepal, Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, South Africa, United States, and Brazil.

The arts

The arts refers to the theory and physical expression of creativity found in human societies and cultures. Major constituents of the arts include literature (including drama, poetry, and prose), performing arts (among them dance, music, and theatre), and visual arts (including drawing, painting, filmmaking, architecture, ceramics, sculpting, and photography).Some art forms combine a visual element with performance (e.g., cinematography) or artwork with the written word (e.g., comics). From prehistoric cave paintings to modern day films, art serves as a vessel for storytelling and conveying humankind's relationship with the environment.

Will St Leger

Will St Leger is a street artist/artivist, Radio DJ and Gay Rights activist living in Dublin, Ireland.

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