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Another sporadic activist art blog thing!

September 2, 2009

Water War and Irrigation Without Borders – Bangladeshi Theatre pouring out their concern

I just wanted to shout back out to you all this article that I published a couple of weeks ago about a theatre group in Bangladesh who are writing productions to raise awareness and provoke discussion and action, to educate the world about their plight!

Let us help them get their voice out there, water is vital and the communities in Bangladesh are in danger of losing this force, in fact aren’t we all?

Spread this blog post far and wide, send it to anyone you know that might be interested in reading the stories.  I only wish I could be there to see the plays.  Perhaps Sorkar will publish the scripts later, unless they are impromptu or something of course.

Activist Art United Video

Another AAU product to promote the amazing array of global talent we find in our hole.  For those who haven’t become victim to our viral marketing virus… please get INFECTED!!!

Thanks to the participating artists:
Helen Bascom – USA, Baz Ashworth – Japan, Peter J. Hodgson – UK, SantaKaoss – UK, Marie Monroe – USA, Bianca Beetson – Aust, Victoria Morphy – Aust, WarchildBender – Afghanistan, Shanghaiwu – Aust, Lupe Ficara – France, SpiderGoAtaL – Aust, Tulay – Turkey, erhan – Turkey, Kathleen – Aust, Krishna Nowhow – Aust, VanSnug – USA, Rosie Martin – UK, Jaybe – UK, Tara – USA, Be Dazzler – Poland, Mark Brumfield – USA, Christine-Joy – Aust, art of joydreaming – USA, Jean Claude Deveraux – Belgium, Angelique Price – USA, EZGrant, BySilent – USA, Raithy – UK, Clinton Tyree – UK, Andrew Anthony Nawroski – UK, Van Wyk Albertus – France, Daniel Lobo – USA, Linda Sharman – Aust, justjason – USA, Chloe – Aust, Olivia – Aust, animalsasia.org (please donate), faizee – USA.
Audio: Music and Production – Morphed Productions |  Poetry/Spoken Word – kaoskyane

This is one way I can promote you, we also have FACEBOOK gift applications to spread awareness, if you are on facebook you can visit our group page first, here and then go to the page for the Art For Awareness application and install it and then send it to all your friends, daily!!!

Publicity Stunts and Activist Art

This is VERY EXCITING NEWS!!!

Some may remember this post from a few months ago about the Art Action Union getting a front page feature on their photo of the week spot?  WELLLLL….

Our lovely friends at Changents have honoured us with a permanent rotation on the front page of this incredibly motivated and awesome site dedicated to the people who want to act on their worries about our future and society.  Visit the link and refresh a few times (and perhaps a few more times) and hopefully you will see my avatar and our Art Action Union profile pop up.  Eleanor (Changents Community Support) tells me that this may even lead to promo on their other sites such as Facebook etc.
Check out the people we share the honours with!!!

Fingers crossed that we receive more support in this way, because it all comes back to the Artists and their thoughts.

Given we have gotten this free publicity, it seem only right that we do in turn…

Visit www.artactionunioncommunity.ning.com and you will see a new widget addition to our community front page.

Changents and their partners Timberland have launched an extraordinary challenge.

No matter who wins WE WIN cause we’re in the right place now to enjoy the Changents traffic!!!  Join Changents and find heaps of wonderful initiatives from the active ones amongst us!

Facespitting
Thoughts left in the facebook group recently:

Synaptic Graffiti Collective
… are a multi-arts collective based on the gold coast, Australia with an arts meets activism focus. They are working on their second multimedia project, MEMORY – A Video Poetry Project and are now seeking submissions:
http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=112705815950&ref=ts
{Sarah}

Paper Magazine
…did a terrific spread called “rebranding america”.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=96463&id=16081247185
{Dillon}

Are Zionists Nazi’s?
Some people argue that such an interpretation of Palestinian genocide is anti-semitic. Is it?
http://palestinian.ning.com/forum/topics/zionistjews-nazis-par-1
Posted by Al-Khansa on November 22, 2008 at 9:32pm
“My ancestry Is Jewish
As a child I was a very precocious reader…..
I was reading adult books by seven years of age….
My father was the curator of our army museum…
A military historian..I had access to books that probably no child should read..
In the 1960s my father wanted our family to make aliyah to Israel..
We children were taught the history….
I used to fear the Nazis…..
I used to run my bath at night and have it as hot as I could make it
Because in my childs mind…
I did not want to flinch if the Nazis, came to power again and decided to put me in thier ovens
Because of my Jewish blood
You see I had seen the pictures….. and I had read the stories…
After WW2 they said it would not ever happen again…
But slowly inevitably it appears to be happening again
And to my shock and to my horror its being caused by the very people whom I share the same ancestry with…
Yossi if I dont speak up…..and things get very bad….
I could not live with myself….I would be betraying that 7 year old child.”
Statements by the Israeli prime minister:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/feb/29/israelandthepalestinians1
{Punxie}

Healthy Environment Leadership Mentoring Arts Program

In this era there are actually quite a few initiatives around for artists who wish to grow their skills in an activist specific area.  This is one such opportunity.  Although you may haved missed out on this one, I thought it a good idea to interview the organisation behind the initiatives about arts and activism.

Environmental art project grants – $13,000

Can arts make a difference to the environment?

If you are an emerging artist under the age of 26 that works with visual art as a means to promote the environment and sustainability, than you may be interested in trying for a slice of this rather generous pie.

Queensland Conservation and the Australia Council are working towards creating a number of unique projects fusing the world of the arts and activism.

What a novel idea!

Utilising the artist as a catalyst for change, and change as a catalyst for the artist, the grant promises to give support and training in association with Feral Arts in Brisbane (www.feralarts.com.au). Such is the need for promoting sustainable environmental ideologies to diversified audiences, art is generally a medium that appeals (in some form or other) to just about everyone in every culture.

$A15 000 (including $2000 for travel) in mentorships will be awarded to deserving young emerging artists to raise environmental challenges in their work. Artists will be involved and mentored by environmental activists to learn about issues ranging from climate change to biodiversity conservation. The end result to be a magnificent work or works that will bring together the environment, community and creativity.

From the press release:

Ryan Dillon, Queensland Conservation Executive Member says the HELM-Arts (Healthy Environment Leadership Mentoring) project is innovative because it helps develop a new generation of artistic leadership.

“This project will expose, train and support young artists and shape them into effective leaders who can advocate for a sustainable world through their art,” Dillon says.

“Queensland Conservation, the peak body for more than 60 environmental groups in Queensland, is well placed to build closer links with the art sector,” Dillon states, “and we are hoping to attract nominations from a broad range of artists, geographical locations and ethnic backgrounds.”

“We created the term HELM-Arts as we feel it is up to young people to take the helm and lead the way with environmental change,” Dillon says.

The Art Action Union had a discussion with Ryan Dillon about art challenging environmental education.

We discussed how the mentorship grants will help these young emerging artists bloom.

Ryan said in a manner of speaking, “the good thing is that it’s a partnership with the Queensland Conservation Council/Australia Council and Feral Arts, two of the best and most well networked environmental and arts organisations in this region. We hope the project will network people from all over the country to create outcomes in Queensland and cross-train arts activists with direct hands on experience to create an ‘eco arts space’ to be watched and anticipated.”

I like the way Ryan used the term ‘eco arts space’ it creates a vision of a new and necessary arts culture. A microcosmic and specialised art form that has purpose and reward.

We discussed what will happen with the work once it is finished? How will the work be used as an education tool for awareness beyond the initial grant timeframe?

Mr. Dillon had a very strong idea that it was open for interpretation.

“Given the diversity of artists that we are expecting to see apply for this opportunity, it really will be up to the discretion of the successful artist. All artists will have their merits measured against the same criteria but that doesn’t mean that we will have a set idea about what type of work it will be and how it will be finished. The artists must demonstrate professionalism but it is up to them to prove that they have the best plans in arts education for sustainable environment and the best way of presenting it for long-term educational and arts benefits.

We are looking for art that is provocative and emotionally engaging, hopefully the viewer will see the art and want to get involved actively with climate change. The main motivation behind the HELM terminology is to provide a vision for young people to form their ideas around leadership in this area. They are at the HELM of the Titanic with the iceberg [ironic ‘cause really they are melting] looming in the near distance, the artist has to steer that ship with creative thinking to take a new course and not crash. To engage a new audience through new networks. It is up to the artists to decide what is provocative.”

Thanks to Ryan for his time and patience with my dodgy technology.

It is hoped that the HELM-Arts project will become an annual arts grant event.

Further about the initiative is available online at is available online at: http://www.australiacouncil.gov.au/grants/grants/healthy_environment_leadership_mentoring_program2

We’ve been around over a year now so…

Yessss… It’s a retrospective edition!

Listen for the violins and watch for the smokey hazy dream-like remembering sequence.

It all began as a single humble gallery at redbubble, the URL “action-without-violence” was originally chosen by Ash Laws to reflect the passive aggressive way in which the group began to present itself.

Gathering momentum in the old days of a still small creative community, I found that political and activist artists were often virtually harassed on a semi-regular basis for pointing out confronting issues about topics ranging from American politics and war to Anti-Whaling.  For some people, art just simply is the celebration of beauty and nothing more, to raise issues about religion and community and war would trigger a massive outpouring of hate, the exact thing that active artists were trying to raise awareness against.

This being said, artists are often know to act creatively impulsive and some contankerous attitudes were expressed on both sides of the fence, but especially beneath it.  Mud wrestling and slinging insults was not a way forward in my honest opinion, and I kind of became a little obsessed with creating and alternative outlet.  I figured there were heaps of angry people around right!

No money and no clue how to get any, after baby three I set about networking… in all those annoying yet free ways.  Some people got into it and still do and there seem to be more now than there were then, so it goes on!  Onward and upward and outward.  It’s a little action, and it’s made up of little actions, but the words that people use when they are impressed shows the magnitude of the creation.  Thanks~

The Art Action Union Is…

The Art Action Union is a collective based on the desire to promote and encourage activist artists to continue to create and pursue the Arts for social change and positive awareness.

It is a collective dedicated to providing, exposing and creating opportunities for independent and non-represented artists who exploit their talents for raising community interest and awareness for difficult topics.
The Art Action Union is a network and an audience, a collective and an independent project, a non-profit group and a market stall, the internet and the street, it is passive and active.

Aim
+ Empowerment.
+ To ASPIRE TO INSPIRE a positive artistic force for social change by utilising creative skills to present a message and to get exposure for important artworks and independent and non-represented activist artists.
+ To educate and provoke thought about topics of concern to society.

Objectives
+ To gather activist artists together to broaden the appeal of communication of messages through connecting existing networks and individual audiences.
+ To promote and market activist art/ists activities’ wherever possible to strengthen voice and communication of messages for awareness.
+ To forge links with other active community based networks and supporters or sponsors in order to get exposure to coordinate with larger campaigns and gain artists opportunities to get their ideas into the public arena through print, internet and events such as exhibitions, etc.
+ To stimulate awareness amongst our communities by acting collectively and artistically. To aspire to inspire!

Assessment of Audience
+ Community based art is creative expression emerging from a need to collectively highlight and educate on social improvement. It is concerned with the functionality of art in public arenas and works with all media, in all disciplines, everywhere.
+ Community based artists are committed to bringing arts and education together to highlight and expose thewidest possible range of social conditions and challenges facing our community. They seek to create socialchange on every level of society, from the most personal to the most political.
+ Activists and activist artists are most likely to be interested in promoting their messages through large networks that are self funded or supported as they are generally sole operators with a passion for stimulating awareness.
+ Many wearable products are highly adaptable to raising awareness with conscientious imaging and slogans.
+ Promotion of artists sourced from existing Activist Art networks can manifest through print, web, publication, exhibition, performance, written word, etc. Each medium creates potential for a wide circulation of positive ideas. The ‘organisation’ effectively becomes an agency where independent and non-represented artists can find a collective to help them spread their messages, their ideas and their products.
Existing Resources
+ A developing network of activist artists sourced from art communities, activist sites and social networking sites.
+ Creative ideas to motivate collective enhancement of positive social re-enforcement.
+ A known reputation for supporting and promoting activist art.
Copyright K.Cameron 2008 All Rights Reserved

Benefits for Audience
+ Creating a network of independent artists, who bring their networks to the group, also creates an instant and commercially susceptible audience and means for promotion of artists and their products.
+ Planned creative activist activities (‘awareness campaigns’) issued through the Art Action Union Network to inspire and motivate activists to put their thoughts into action.
+ Cross-promotion of other competitions, creative activist initiatives or community arts projects to motivate artists to continuously create activist works.
+ Products (t-shirts, magazines, posters, buttons etc.) can be produced and marketed through the networks to promote the artist and the product, the network and the cause.
+ Activities can be tailored to encourage local campaigning amongst isolated activist groups, encourage collective voice (petitions etc.) and ultimately encourage the viewer to further their support of causes, whether intellectually or financially.

Benefits for Artists
+ Busy creative people can express themselves and campaign at their convenience, when there is no other suitable, satisfactory or satisfying outlet to find voice.
+ Creative intellectual thinkers have an outlet for expression and discussion centred on issues that are important to them.
+ Contribute to form a collective critical mass, collaborate with other passionate artists.
+ Online campaigning becomes fun and expressive, providing the artists with a platform and the audience with a product.
+ Artists can utilise their existing networks, create new networks and plug into an existing art activist hub.
+ Getting attention for what you do is empowering, find an existing audience and watch your confidence and motivation soar.
+ Connect with other activist artists who are working on campaigns of their own, meet like minded artists locally and globally, and network with others who want to heal the world.
+ Take advantage of the promotional and organisational opportunities the group may be involved in, such as applying for grants, online campaigning and other promotional media and events.
+ Be known as a caring soul.
+ Find an existing audience who want to see (and maybe even buy) activist art and also an audience that can benefit from being exposed to activism.
+ Receive regular bulletins about art action on current issues and subscribe to the Art Action News mailing list and thus contribute and grow the network.
+ Get involved and become an active contributor for the group, the site or the organisation.

Basic Initial Promotions Structure
+ De-centralised virtual structure of basic word of mouth initiatives.
+ Events and publications.
Web
– Official site, possibly with networking attached.
– Satellite ‘sites’ on other community and arts networking sites, activist sites, groups etc.
– Blogs, syndications, virtual gifting etc.
Email
– Regular issue of ‘action news’ through mailing lists and attached syndicated networks.

This document is now available as a pdf from our MISSION STATEMENT page.


There’s plenty to talk about all the time and more people are coming to us for help all the time and more artists all the time, are creating art!

Keep it up!

Until the next sporadic edition.

Kath

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