Artists & Action

Due to the nature of this class, I have throughout the semester come across many things that I feel I would have never otherwise been exposed to. I think that this final blog is a good place to share ideas about this class and the implications it places on us as we continue to research the “alternative.” I have come to realize that individual people can make a difference. Through using media to make a point individual people can create change. By recognizing privileges and finding ways to use these privileges to aid those who are less privileged, our lives and those of others can become more meaningful. That is kind of a summary of what I have learned and come to a conclusion about through inspiration of artists and forms of media that are not just slight variations of corporate cookie-cutters. Guerrilla media to me is more creative and a step outside of the box which encourages people to take that extra step in order to keep up with what is happening in the world that we live in. The following is an example that I think is extremely inspiring and shows a lot about guerrilla media:

women-kenya-3 : I came across this website and was completely amazed by the size of his artwork and amount of impact it has. By browsing around on the website I began to really appreciate how JR is using his talents to make someone else smile and see the beauty in the world. Street art reaches much larger audiences than the art in a museum. I have nothing against art museums necessarily, but there are those people who do not have the access or the ability to visit an art museum their entire life. JR calls himself an “artiviste” combining artist and activist. His media of choice are large posters of raw black and white photographs which he captures all of people around the world. His latest project is titled, “Women are Heroes.” He has been traveling to the poorest of the poor slums in Kenya, Sudan, Sierra-Leone, and Liberia in order to take pictures and paste these pictures not only in the slums but also in populated cities such as Paris and Brussels. He has completed other projects and his website has many well put together videos and countless photos of his past and present work. His art is amazing and the ideas and stories of activism behind them show his great creativity and depth as an artist and a citizen of the world.

For the most part, we as Americans, (especially who are college educated at a private university) are in a position of privilege. In order to realize our privilege we must recognize those who do not have the opportunities that we have. I think that guerilla media speaks to those who are making the difference and to those who are positively affected by the actions of others. I am sure there are other examples similar to JR and it is our job to find these and share them. More people should be aware that other things exist outside of the mass media. The levels of creativity, expression and free thought in guerrilla media are not restrained by the boundaries that the mass media puts up. With the right aims and goals, less boundaries and restrictions can be very progressive and aid in positive change.


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