Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Artists in Times of War

I just finished reading a great short little book by Howard Zinn titled "Artists in Times of War". He talks about how it is the artist's responsibility to speak out against war. Historically artists have been the ones to speak out.

I agree with this wholeheartedly! Problem is, I'm torn between knowing that I have to speak out and do something and being afraid to speak out and do something. In reality, feeling afraid to speak out just makes me angry and makes me want to do even more.

Is this not the greatest country in the world after all? Are we not free to speak our minds? I don't like to write about politics on this blog, mainly because I am a visual person, I am not a writer. I don't really know how to put my feelings and beliefs into words.

I do know that I am tired of all the crap going on in this country and I am tired of all the ignorant Americans who continue to believe we are in this war for good reason. I am tired of the propaganda and the use of the media to distract us from what is really going on.

Why is peace such a difficult concept? Why does greed run this country, this world? Why are so-called Christians(not bashing all Christians here, I know there are good and bad) so gung-ho for war? I mean, isn't 'Thou shalt not kill' one of the ten commandments? I have often wondered how a person can be against abortion but for war? It is murder to kill a fetus, but sending my 18 year old off to die is patriotic?

And my ultimate question.....WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!!!!!

Let there be peace on earth!!! I think it is time for me to pick up where I left off with my peace series! Painting is the only way I know how to contribute my voice and make it heard (or in this case, seen!)

In what ways are you making your voice heard?


jbruno said...

I try to avoid politics as much as I can, and concentrate on what I love, but sometimes protecting what I love requires writing about politics here and there.

That's the wonderful thing about art; it has so many different forms, and commentary does not have to be about politics, it can be about line or angle or color.

Just talking about it makes me want to go back to the MoMA!

jafabrit said...

I don't agree with that statement "it is the artist's responsibility to speak out against war". I feel it my responsibility as a fellow human though but don't need to be told that. It is something that can be done outside of our art or at the voting booth. Even though I am an artist who does a lot of work that is political or makes a social statement I don't sit down and plan to make a political statement or try to educate the public. I create what moves me, what comes from my heart. I don't believe others have a right to determine what my responsibility is an as artist. Good art speaks from the heart not from some contrived obligation set by others of what artists are supposed to say.
Anwyay if you want to see some of my work in this regard here is a link.

sorry I rambled, but that is my humble opinion.

good question to consider though and great post.

Paula Manning-Lewis said...

I guess I worded my statement wrong, it isn't neccessarily that it is the artist's responsibility to speak out, it's that historically, artists(not just visual, but writers, musicians, etc) have been the ones that have spoken out. I totally agree with you that art should come from the heart! That is where I'm personally having a conflict. I feel very strongly against the war, any war for that matter, and alot of the time I just make art that is pretty. I suppose it is meant to help remind myself of the beauty in the world. I realize that is cliche, but its real. Where my conflict comes is in feeling like I should be painting more of the anger and frustration that is in my heart and not always try to gloss over it with beauty. Thanks for the comments!

jafabrit said...

"I just make art that is pretty"

I understand. However isn't it the beauty in life that gives us hope and joy. I wish I could just paint a pretty flower. Technically I am sure I can do it, but that is not what I am meant to do it seems. Maybe it is the beauty and hope that is coming out in your work in opposition to the ugly?

all the best