There is no tool for transforming our reality as dynamic as artistic expression. For as long as humans have existed in community with one another we have created art to celebrate and to grieve; to process our lived experiences and imagine a better future. As artwork is created, shared and encountered by an audience, the artist creates opportunities for their work to change hearts and minds, to spark conversation and eventually to catalyze action.
This Spring, WonderRoot will unveil a groundbreaking, large-scale arts initiative elevating remarkable moments in Atlanta’s struggle toward social justice. Leading up to our announcement of this project we will be using this blog to highlight the rich relationship between artistic expression and issue-based advocacy. The stories lifted up here will cross generations, national boundaries, and artistic media to demonstrate the breadth of art’s tradition of fighting for civil and human rights. This incomplete archive of arts and advocacy will reveal that one cannot exist without the other, as well as explore art’s role as a lightning rod for change-minded people from seemingly disparate communities.
Technology, globalization, and cultural evolution have transformed the way that the arts are used to fight for social justice over the past few centuries. As this blog connects the past of artistic resistance to its manifestations in the present day, we hope to illuminate questions and themes that will enrich the future of such movements.
One of the most important lessons to be learned from examining effective social justice work through the arts is the need for a multitude of voices and perspectives. This blog will serve to amplify input and feedback from members of the WonderRoot community and from our local partners in arts and activism.
We are excited and humbled to play a role in Atlanta’s journey toward social justice and we are eager to share the details of our upcoming project with you all. Until then, keep up with us here as we reflect on the revolutionary tradition of arts and advocacy.