Thanks to everyone who responded to last week’s survey about how politics is affecting you. According to the survey, a whole lot of us -- 84% -- are running around with our hair on fire! SurveyMonkey generates a word cloud based on text responses -- the more often a word or phrase appears, the larger the type font. Here’s what we got based on your comments:
Click here to see the results. What you can’t see are the actual comments you made. I found them quite illuminating. I’ll try to summarize and quote a few here. There were several themes that jumped out at me:
All art is political
“There is no apolitical art: even art that examines intrinsic themes reflects a political climate that supports it. (You don’t see much navel-gazing critical theory coming out of Somalia.) I expect the rising political regime(s) will make many artists less comfortable, and I hope they will discomfit the politicians in return.”
“Art doesn’t have to be political to be political. We can nurture alternate priorities, shift the dominant view of things. Sometimes confrontational statements are valuable, sometimes better to be the continuous dripping of water on rock.”
It is important to keep making art in times of chaos
“The arts, humanities, science (and humor!) along with unity and resistance are critical to preserving our democratic society and way of life in this deeply turbulent time-the worst in my lifetime.”
“We have to keep thinking for ourselves – NOT according to how Trump and his henchmen tell us to think. Making and viewing art are forms of thinking.”
I would like to throw the covers over my head and make it all go away
“I barely read the newspaper any more, barely log on to FB, and find it hard to listen to news on the radio. I can’t stand his voice, much less what he says!”
“I have tried to limit any news viewing, since I know a narcissist need [sic] people to LOOK at them. But it’s NOT working. How are we going to stop the unmaking of America?”
Ways of coping (or not)
“My life and peace of mind has been hijacked by the current political situation. I am grieving.”
“I’m experiencing PSTD if that’s possible.”
“In Cochella, we are forming an art collective: Artists with a Cause . . . if I don’t act, I will go crazy! I will invite you to the Facebook page, when it is done.”
“. . . I go for walks and try not to binge on chocolate. I am trying to find the balance of active and engaged, but not succumbing to rage and despair.”
“. . . I’ve taken to smoking a lot of dope.”
Conservatives who I’m surprised are still reading my blog
“I’m pretty weary of SJW [I had to look that one up. It stands for Social Justice Warrior – like that’s a bad thing?] who think thay [sic] have the right to tell conservatives who they can listen to and what to believe. I’m tired of all the violence and lies coming from ‘tolerant’ liberals. Really grow up and produce something inspiring and beautiful.”
“I will assume you are a ‘feminist’ [again, that’s a bad thing?] do you support the latest feminist icon Palestinian terrorist and Sharia apologist Linda Sarsour? Are you ok with the Cal Berkley [sic] rioters attacking and beating to unconsciousness Milo supporters? . . . I suggest that it is YOU who is not paying attention to what is really going on. Conservatives are being attacked both physically and by other means across the country.”
There were many other comments but I felt these were representative. The last two by conservatives were the only two by conservatives, but in the interest of freedom of speech, I felt I should include them, however aggressive the second one is.
Which brings me to my call for entries. I would love for those of you who are artists to send me art that you are making as a direct result of how politics is affecting you. I will post some of them in upcoming blogs. The work doesn’t have to be overtly political. Here are the requirements:
- Send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Limit one image per artist.
- Format must be jpeg, 72dpi, 10mgs or less. Larger files will be deleted.
- Artist’s name, title, year, medium, size.
- (optional) A brief statement (100 words or less) about how making the work was affected by politics.
- By submitting, you grant permission for the work to be posted on Jane Chafin: Offramp if chosen.
See you next week!