What Is the Role of Arts in Political Protest?

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On our cross-media platform we have been collecting material about creative, non-traditional and, first and foremost, non-violent methods of protest. Naturally, this list also includes street art, graffiti, theatre, dance and music – shouldn’t we just call it “art”?

Art is undoubtedly intertwined with contemporary activism and Ron Eyerman gives an excellent overview of a “perhaps even ancient history of wall writing and what we would today call street art and graffiti used as means to express discontent and catch public attention”. Eyerman gives examples of artistic expressions about the Palestinian conflict and the Occupy movement as well as Vietnam War protests of the 1960s. All in all, in his essay Eyerman addresses the important questions:

“Can political art be good art, can good art be political? How effective is politicized art and the artists who make it? What exactly does art do in demonstrations of political protest? “

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