Contemporary Encyclopedia for Creative ActivistsPosted: April 20, 2013
I love when activists use creativity to sell their message, rather than relying on outdated notions of enlightenment ideology to affect chance. We’ve known for decades that the truth will not set us free—and that people make decisions based on both the rational and irrational. And yet, we still get campaigns that focus on the negative, are boring and easily ignored in a sea of countless messages.
Folks like the artist Khaled Jarrar, who created an exhibit space at the Berlin Biennale’s where he stamped visitor’s passports with a specially-designed ‘visa’ for the State of Palestine. The stamp he created featured a Palestine Sunbird surrounded by flowers and encircled with the words State of Palestine in English and Arabic. And it essentially meant nothing—except that it beautifully and symbolically told the story of Israel Occupation of the Palestinian Homeland.
I especially love it when it involves my husband, the activist and media studies professor Stephen Duncombe. Along with The Yes Men labs, his organization The Center for Artistic Activism has launched actipedia.org, a hub for people who use interesting, playful and artist strategies to help build a more just society. People like Jarrar and others can share ideas and document what they are doing, in an age where few mainstream media outlets cover this type of work.
I produced a piece on actipedia for Word of Mouth. Listen.