Towards Better Democracy

Good words, well written, better the world. Good literature betters the world immeasurably.

You: art as action


you1You                                                                                                                    mixed media, NFS

A blog called Towards Better Democracy is by its nature political and, by and large, acts as a platform for its instigator. This blogger has a number of preoccupations which this platform serves to make public. These preoccupations take three forms. These are: actions we can take to become human beings more responsible for ourselves and towards others, and to draw attention to circumstances where the possibility of those actions is inhibited, coerced or prevented by those who put themselves up to dictate to others subject to their whims what actions they can and cannot take, including speech acts.

A third action is as an artist. The central preoccupation of many artists, including this one, is to create art. Art for art’s sake. This is not sufficient in this artist’s view. There is an opportunity, should any artists wish to grasp it, to, through art work, draw attention to problems that the society of which the artist is a part faces.

Whether we are prepared to admit it or not, there has been for some time now a chorus of informed opinion that claims we are doing great damage to our environment. The visiblity of this damage seen on a day to day basis depends uon our individual circumstance. For the most part, we are reliant on those who make it their business to inform themselves of the various kinds of damage we are doing to our environment. Where facts and evidence are offered opinion moves from not simply being a case of what we should do, but what we must do.

It is in the nature of a non-participatory democracy that we feel ourselves to be powerless to act, particularly on larger problems, and rely upon those whom we elect to recognize and act on those problems, whatever they be. We may add our voices to a call to act but often feel this is inadequate.

An artist has a highly particular voice should that artist choose to express it where matters that affect us all are concerned. The artist is seldom also a politician, a journalist, or commentator, far less an expert. Despite this, and to the artist’s advantage, he or she is free of any view of partisanship. This very freedom allows the artist to speak through or with his or her work in a way that need not be polemical.

In fact, art as action has its success in not being polemical, but by it evoking a response in the viewer rather than one dictated by the artist.

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 30 December, 2017

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Filed under: Arts, Current Events, history, Media, Music, poetry, politics, songs, stories

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