This research project uses practical work and a supporting text to explore activism in contemporary art. Its chief concern is to consider what constitutes an activist art practice by clarifying the terms of engagement of such work. In the textual part of this submission the production of recent and contemporary artists who are widely presumed to make activist art has been examined. Their different approaches have been identified and critical evaluations of them have been offered. The artists under review include Christian Boltanski, Agnes Denes, Hans Haacke, Thomas Hirschhorn, Edward Kienholz, Doris Salcedo, and others. The analysis differentiates between them on the basis of their success as activist artists. Broadly speaking, two major strands of effective activism are identified. The first provides the audience/spectator with an understanding of their complicity in situations which are not clear-cut, where ethical standards are in conflict and where the perception of issues and solutions remains occluded. This kind of activism refuses any kind of programmatic clarity and encourages its viewer/recipient to acknowledge their moral and epistemological confusions. Although it may make use of local and particular circumstances and events its overall message transcends them and it is theoretically transportable to other sites without loss of impact. The second strand of activism is designed to work with maximum impact in highly localised situations, drawing on very particular shared experiences in tightly circumscribed locations. This kind of activist art, unlike the first, cannot be removed from its exact social and political context without loss of meaning. It is the contention of the thesis that successful activist art, in either strand, is very difficult to achieve and that much of what passes as activist art is flawed, either because it is crudely propagandic or because it is too opaque for the public to respond to it. The critical framework outlined in the textual submission is the matrix within which the practical element of this submission should be considered. The work submitted for examination extends the idea of activism as a means of making tangible the political and ethical confusions of everyday life. It is designed to be eye-catching , alluring and domineering, using scale, materials and iconography to encourage close inspection. The practical work offers the spectator a sculptural environment in which news reports, memories, moral beliefs, cultural stereotypes and historical markers are put in play. It is intended to provoke reflection, to linger in the memory, precisely because it cannot be categorised or assimilated easily as a simple message.
10 April 2019
This thesis focuses on the Kurdish people of Turkey, who have struggled and advocated for a separate nation-state of their own. The Turkish state’s denial of Kurdish identity, and its heavy assimilation and oppression of the Kurdish people have turned some Kurds into political activists, both in Turkey and in the diaspora. In addition, the historical ban and current stigmatization of the Kurdish language have crystallized the importance and centrality of the language, particularly for both Kurdish identity and the Kurdish movement. This thesis explores the forms of political activism in Canada of the Kurds originating in Turkey, and the role of the Kurdish language in their activism. Using a qualitative research design, interviews with activists and participant observations were conducted in the cities of Toronto and Montréal. The findings draw attention to the significance of community centres as umbrella institutions for political activism, and as sites for the enactment of different forms of collective resistance. The study also illustrates that the role of the Kurdish language in activism is more salient at a representational level. That is, the Kurdish language is represented as the main identity marker fuelling activism, implying that speaking Kurdish is an act of resistance and thus political. In daily life, however, the usage of the Kurdish is far more attenuated and nuanced.
Stringer, Lindsey Michelle
15 February 2011
Within the historically conservative city of Córdoba, Argentina, LGBTQ activism has grown in the past year during a period in which the movement has achieved significant advances nationwide. This thesis examines how a new LGBTQ organization, Encuentros por la Diversidad en Córdoba, formed its identity by creating boundaries between itself and other organizations in Argentina through a frame of diversity and horizontalism, in which members have an equal opportunity to participate. While the group was able to maintain diversity through its activities, its attempts to create and follow a horizontal structure were not successful. Because of this failure, hierarchies based on members’ social and political capital developed within the group, despite the organization’s commitment to equality. / text
04 January 2019
In 2014, a series of shocking and seemingly random acid attacks against women took place in the Iranian city of Esfahan. The attacks by unknown assailants sparked widespread reactions from the public, outside commentators, and especially social and political activists focused on women‘s issues. Subsequently, the tragic event also prompted thousands of people to take to the streets to protest the violence and demand the authorities to secure women‘s safety in the public spaces. Drawing on historical and media research along with semi-structured in-depth interviews, this thesis investigates how the wave of acid attacks managed to inspire subsequent mass political mobilizations. Situating the Esfahan acid attacks within the historical and political history of Iran, this thesis suggests that heterogeneous forms of women‘s rights activism cannot be viewed as simply pro-Western or Islamic. Drawing on the detailed analysis of the post-revolutionary history, this thesis shows how women‘s rights and bodily presence in public space in Iran have often played a central role in contemporary political mobilizations. In that sense, protests generated by the Esfahan incident represent a continuation of the long history of politicization of women‘s bodies, which continues to take new forms to this day.
2014 September 1900
The present study used action research with youth to investigate and create radio shows about the role place has played in maintaining the identities of activists committed to social and ecological justice. The research focused on whether youth involvement in a participatory, critical learning experience of creating radio shows interviewing activists from their community helped those students to develop and maintain their own activist identity and community. The study also examined other aspects of the critical learning process and conditions of the radio studio that affected their identity. Finally, the study asked if the youth participants planned to take any steps to maintain their activism beyond the study. In addressing these questions of activist identity in relation to place, the study is presented as three mini-studies. Mini-study 1 addresses how the experienced activists who were interviewed by youth described the role of material places in enabling and supporting their activism, the final product of which is two radio shows. Four inductively generated, theoretical categories are presented to capture the experienced activists’ descriptions of place including relationality, the act of making place, normalizing transgression in everyday life, and using power. Mini-study 2 addresses how the youth participants perceived the process of interviewing activists on a radio show, as well as other aspects of making radio shows including the radio studio as having contributed to their own activist identities. It also looks at the steps, if any, the youth had planned to stay active beyond the study. Profiles of each youth participant are presented to represent their perceptions of creating radio shows. Mini-study 3 invites the reader on my self-reflexive journey as an educator committed to social and ecological justice including reflections on existing practice in schools, place and youth identity, collective spaces for agency, intergenerational mentoring, slow pedagogy and mindfulness, radio as a pedagogical tool, and my own style of teaching.
Smith, D.J., Germane, M., Housden, Martyn
15 February 2020
yes / This article examines transnational activism by coalitions of national minorities in Europe from the early 20th century to the present, setting this within the broader ‘security versus democracy dilemma’ that continues to surround international discussions on minority rights. Specifically, we analyse two organisations – the European Nationalities Congress (1925–1938) and the Federal Union of European Nationalities (1949–) – which, while linked, have never been subject to a detailed comparison based on primary sources. In so far as comparisons do exist, they present these bodies in highly negative terms, as mere fronts for inherently particularistic nationalisms that threaten political stability, state integrity and peace. Our more in‐depth analysis provides a fresh and more nuanced perspective: it shows that, in both cases, concepts of European integration and ‘unity in diversity’ have provided the motivating goals and frameworks for transnational movements advocating common rights for all minorities and seeking positive interaction with the interstate world. / The full text will be available at the end of the publisher's embargo, 15th Feb 2020.
Mohammed-Akinyela, Ife J
06 May 2012
The purpose of this study is to explore how conscious rap is used as a form of activism. Interviews of conscious rappers based in Atlanta, GA were used to understand this relationship. In order to complete this investigation, ten unsigned conscious rappers were given a series of questions to explore their involvement as activist; some of these artist were also recruited based on affiliations with political organizations based in Atlanta, GA. By gathering interviews from conscious rappers who consider their music as a form of activism, scholars of African American Studies may further understand the role of music and political activism when mobilizing the African American and minority communities.
20 September 2013
In the early days of HIV/AIDS in North America, those most directly affected by the crisis created a social movement to respond to the virus when no one else would. The legacy of activists’ efforts can be seen in the more than seventy-five AIDS service organizations (ASOs) that provide prevention, support, and education to communities across Ontario today. While these organizations were once an important site of advocacy and resistance for people living with HIV/AIDS (PHAs), ASOs are now often viewed as professionalized, bureaucratic and impersonal spaces. Linking theoretical understandings of public pedagogy and the pedagogical potential of space with HIV/AIDS scholarship, I offer a conception of ASOs as more than simply impersonal service providers, but vibrant spaces of community learning. Drawing on interviews with people who work, volunteer, and use services at a small ASO in Kingston, Ontario called HIV/AIDS Regional Services (HARS), I identify three pedagogical assets within the agency’s space that tend to go unrecognized as such. The agency’s drop-in space, artworks created by PHAs that decorate the walls of the office, and HARS’ storefront design are not usually counted as elements of the kind of formal “HIV/AIDS education” that ASOs provide. However, by exploring the learning experiences that are incited by these assets, I argue that we may broaden our understandings of what counts as HIV/AIDS education and of the value of ASOs in their communities. These unacknowledged assets not only enhance peoples’ understanding of issues related to HIV/AIDS, they also work to develop a sense of community and belonging for visitors to the space. In conclusion, I reiterate that while today’s ASOs are surely different than the organizations that activists created in the 1980s, the learning experiences that arise in agencies like HARS demonstrate that community-building and mutual support can remain as integral aspects of ASOs. / Thesis (Master, Cultural Studies) -- Queen's University, 2013-09-20 14:39:55.828
Care regardless of the ability to pay: a reconnaissance of Saskatchewan's State hospital and medical leagueGoss, Aaron William 05 April 2013 (has links)
The State Hospital and Medical League was a broadly based organization founded in 1936 and dedicated to achieving State Medicine, a fully funded holistic preventative and curative system, for Saskatchewan. Its study allows us to fill in gaps in what has been a primarily policy level historiography of Canadian medicare. Using Ian McKay's reconnaissance model, we also look at it as a locus for challenges to the entrenched, liberal and individualistic political social and professional hegemony.
email@example.com, Ron Chapman
As the first comprehensive study of Western Australian forest protest the thesis analyses the protest movement's organisation, campaigns and strategies. Its central argument is that the contemporary Western Australian forest protest movement established a network of urban and south-west activist groups which encouraged broad public support, and that a diversity of protest strategies focused public attention on forest issues and pressured the state government to change its forest policies. The forest protest movement was characterised by its ability to continually adapt its organisation and strategies to changing social and political conditions. This flexible approach to protest not only led to victories in the Shannon River Basin, Lane-Poole Reserve and old growth forest campaigns, but also transformed forest protest into an influential social movement which contributed to the downfall of the Court Liberal Government in 2001.
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