Visionary Studio, Fall 2016: No Justice No Peace, by Gehan Habashy, Sailesh Varadan & Morgan


The intersection of art and social justice.

Racism, from the height of European colonialism to our present-day conflicts and injustices, has fueled unthinkable violations of human life. Art practices can be a powerful tool for artists invested in confronting and overturning racist ideologies. Feminist cultural theorist Gloria Anzaldua once asserted, “Creative acts are forms of political activism employing definite aesthetic strategies for resisting dominant cultural norms and are not merely aesthetic exercises.”

Working with this understanding, this unit challenges students to consider the ways in which their artistic practices can be subversive and provide an avenue for visions and actions for racial and social justice.

The unit takes on the larger question of:

#NoJusticeNoPeace: How can artists contribute to racial justice?

Sub-questions tackled in the course of this eight week long unit include:

How can art be used as a tool for racial justice? How does contemporary art challenge our institutions and histories?

What are the impacts of underrepresentation and misrepresentation? How can we respond to historical underrepresentation and misrepresentation in art history?

What does racial justice look like? In what ways are different forms of oppression intertwined? How can we imagine intersectional liberation?

How can our art practices work toward social justice?




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