Over the past month I have witnessed and participated in the local contingent of the now-global movement known as Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Together. The goal of this nonviolent movement, fueled by people in 1,497 cities throughout the world, is to challenge capitalism by protesting major banks, corporations, and the top 1% of people who benefit from our country’s current economic system. Through taking over public space, consensus-based general assemblies, demonstrations, direct actions, workshops, teach-ins, defense against police brutality, and collaborations with local grassroots organizations and various unions, this movement is full of energy, complications, and has the potential to get people talking about systemic oppression and building together to create some real change.
As an artist and one of the 99%, I keep coming back to the questions, what is the place of artists in this movement and what can we learn here?
Consider this a call to action! Let’s talk about our role in this movement. How are we already making our voices heard, and how can we put our creative efforts towards this movement? As the inequities of capitalism are exposed, how might we, as artists, reconsider our reliance upon this economic system? How is the financial sustainability and livelihood of artists in the Bay Area connected to larger movements for economic justice that have been fought here for years?
If you are a visual or other artist interested in engaging in conversation, action, and/or education around these issues and putting efforts towards building an artist contingent of the 99%, let’s talk! You can use the comment box below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.