Throughout history, art has been the heart and blood of society. Let’s reclaim it to break the illusion of the consumerist prison within which we find ourselves.
By Nadim Fetaih
It is time. Throughout history, art has been the heart and blood of society. In recent years, artists have had to sell their talents in order to feed themselves. When before, art could inspire emotion, movements, and even revolution – now, most art is used to subdue and brainwash the masses.
Art has been connected to intellectual movements of the past (e.g. surrealism mirroring the growth of questioning the power of the mind). It has been used as a means to show beauty in the most benign (e.g. Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings). Since the rise of the Soviet Union, though, there has been a growth in the manipulation of inspiration – a bastard child of art was formed: propaganda.
After this, thousands of years of artistic technique and gained knowledge of artistic “rules” have been turned against the very people art always sided with. Whether it is the films and music used as propaganda to help enforce Hitler’s ideals, to advertisements used to continue the cycle of consumption in the capitalist world, propaganda has manipulated the thoughts and actions of people while at the same time stiffening artistic integrity and creativity.
This is the front line of the war for freedom. This is where the corporate powers have their hold upon the masses. Their ads, movies, music – all meant to ensure the stability of the “American Dream”. Its message is clear: Consume. Consume. Consume. And all those who stand in the way of consumption and economic control will be seen as a terrorist of the state, needed to be fought by the “heroes” of capitalism.
It is time. It is time to fight fire with fire. A new revolutionary tactic is born: Guerrilla Art Warfare. Inspired by decades of beautiful guerrilla art. Inspired by Banksy and all the filmmakers in the world who refuse to abide by film laws.
Let us bring art back into the hands of the people. To the artists around the world, I beg you: take charge, spread emotion in an increasingly cold and grey world. Teach citizens to feel again. Spread your message. Fight propaganda — not with your own, but with true art that speaks to the average person.
Inspire the masses. Take down ads, replace them with universal truths; corporations are NOT people; ads are taking over our schools, our public space, our free-time, our clothes, even our news; consuming traps us in a prison with invisible bars.
Attached is a video of a small group of people who have decided to bring a message to the masses in a way that only they could. What is your message? How will your art portray it? Choose your weapon, be it paint brush, camera, charcoal, tools, a pen, pencil or a spray paint canister.
Nadim is a Canadian-Egyptian filmmaker. His first documentary, A Tale of Two Revolutions, is scheduled to be released this year.