When I arrived, reds, yellows, browns and greens were still bright and shocking. Now, many of the leaves have fallen – and the colors faded. When I left New York in October Zucotti park had just been occupied and the movement, which seemed to appear from nowhere, bloomed and blazed. In the two months between, something important has begun.
The creativity of the movement is inspiring; from colorful flags to humorous signs, to song, music, theater, and innovative protest forms. People have decided to branch out and try something new. That, in and of itself, is a huge blow to oppression, hopelessness, and cynicism.
The decision to go towards creativity, to innovate, to believe – shows how important art and imagination are in moving others to act. And it’s only just begun!
But there are risks. Hundreds of arts and culture workers all around the world are violently assaulted for pursuing social change through their art forms: as community leaders and role models, they lose their jobs; face arbitrary imprisonment; and are sometimes killed for voicing dissent, asking questions.
With the international movements for justice gaining steam and getting louder, we know that many more artists will be targeted.
That is why I joined the board of FreeDimensional. They are an organization that recognizes the transformative force of art and are dedicated to supporting creative resistance everywhere. And for the first time ever, I am asking my friends and colleagues to financially contribute to something that I am a part of.
We are asking you to help us meet our fundraising goal of $9,000 by the end of 2011.
This past year saw the heightened repression of artists and culture workers in, among other places, the Middle East, North Africa, China and Southeast Asia, and Central America, indicating the urgent need for a global support system for artists voicing concerns on behalf of entire communities.
Every little bit helps. We have only just begun to heal the world and reshape our society. Let’s make sure we continue with renewed passion and play!
I leave for Kabul this Thanksgiving Day for another wonderful Theater of the Oppressed training with the BBC. I am thankful that there are people like you, all over the world, who know how important creativity is to a healthy society.
I’ll be updating the blog again with more photos and stories. Stay tuned and PLEASE GIVE!