What's Going On...The Role of Art in Revolutionary Politics


In 1971, Motown Records released "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye. Gaye's voice provided a melodic soundtrack to the plight of black urban life during a time of turmoil and social unrest. The album would go on to receive critical acclaim and is still revered as one of the most perennial sources of protest music. As I listen to "What's Going On" this morning, I can't help but appreciate they way Gaye channeled his emotion through his artistry, which reverberated the pain, anguish, despair, and grief felt by those battling against the forces of oppression. The music of the 60's and 70's serves as cultural artifacts that provide rich context for examination. Though it is impossible to not make correlations to the past movements and periods of social unrest, we are in 2016 still battling against many of the same forms of oppression.

However, the way we communicate has drastically changed. Today, we turn on news or view our social media feeds only to be held captive by the proliferation of violence. Mere words cannot express the trauma one feels when witnessing the end of someone's life being replayed over and over and over. We are all suffering from PTSD and in need of healing! Art is and has always been a power medium in which to examine the human condition. Art functions as a source of healing. Art functions as a medium of expression. At times, art may even be a source of inspiration. At a fundamental level, art functions as a language. The language of art is as universal as emotion. Despite the many technological advances of society we still struggle to effectively communicate. Without effective communication there is no chance at bridging commonality or finding understanding. In times like these, we need to harness the power of art. We need to explore the human condition through the artist perspective. I encourage artistic expression as means in which we not only examine our collective thought as a society but also as an avenue to channel our collective emotions.

I gather inspiration from a variety of artists and art mediums. Art in its various forms feeds my soul and my creativity. Subsequently, I draw from these sources of inspiration to generate my own creation. I aim to create art that is designed to expand the collective consciousness of the community. My art speaks to igniting greater thought. Some of my art may be political in context. However, we live in a world where the personal is political. The only way I know how to exist is in a state of activism. I actively seek to be the change I would like to see reflected throughout the world. I actively seek knowledge and understanding. I actively seek the end of all forms of oppression. I actively seek to be a light, a source of positive affirmation for others. I actively seek love, peace, and harmony. As an activist, an artist, a human, I release my creativity into the universe.

Peace and love,

-Z

#eternalblacknessart #khaldunoluwa #babanochi #blacklivesmatter #blm #digitallivesmatter #blackart #localart #africanamericanartist #blackcommunityart #music #art #politics

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