Activism in Visual and Media Culture

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Activism in Visual and Media Culture


It can not be disputed that globalization trends have in most instances alienated aboriginal societies by undermining their ability to participate actively in social activities. This can be attributed to the inherent technological developments and disregard of various cultural aspects that are native to such populations. Seemingly, aboriginal visual culture has played a critical role in making aboriginal people a presence and not an absence. This has been attained through appreciation of the historical roles that they played in shaping the current future. From Belmore’s point of view, taking visual performances in aboriginal lands is instrumental in acknowledging their presence (Belmore 171). In particular, this arouses the dead spirits that are often remembered and mourned by the native societies. Notably, this is an active involvement of modern communities in the cultural lives of the aboriginals. Also, staging such performances in aboriginal lands allows for the participation of the locals in such activities. In the long run, their presence in the society is not only felt but also acknowledged by specialists in aboriginal culture.

Further, incorporating aboriginal culture in current documentation forms such as written forms, photography, use of compact discs, painting and sculpting gives the modern societies a chance to not only appreciate the role that traditional societies played in shaping the current way of life but also triggers the responsibility to incorporate them in their day to day activities. Thomas in this regard appreciates the role of photography in understanding the way of life of the aboriginal societies (Thomas 1). According to him, photographs of aboriginal societies that were taken in the past can be stored for future reference. This certainly maintains the presence of aboriginal societies. This is particularly attained when the respective photographs are employed in modern day graphics.

At this point therefore, aboriginal visual arts can be commended for giving the aboriginal societies an opportunity to participate in the presence rather than in the past. Of great reference however has been the role of mass media storing important historical information and presenting the same to the public through reviews. In order to have a greater impact and ensure that quality is upheld, this is usually done in collaboration with artists that specialize in aboriginal culture (Candice 135). In the long run, the entire public is informed about the various cultural aspects of aboriginal societies. More often than not, they tend to purchase the visual arts and store them for future reference. Ultimately, aboriginal persons are constantly remembered by modern societies and incorporated in important social and political processes such as governance and policy formulation and implementation.

Through the development and maintenance of cultural museums, galleries and reserves, the visual arts have played an integral role in maintaining the presence of aboriginal societies in the current lives. In order to attain the highest degree of quality, visual artists work in collaboration with native societies. The collaboration gives them a chance to appreciate critical factors such the value systems of the aboriginal societies. These mutual relationships enable each of them to benefit immensely from each other. Further, development of films about different aspects of lives of the aboriginal cultures exposes them to modern technology and gives them a chance to participate actively in social activities and art (Thomas 2). Perhaps the most important way through which the presence of aboriginal societies has been enhanced by aboriginal visual culture is the incorporation of this discipline in the education system. This has played a leading role in not only enhancing awareness about these persons but has enhanced frequent interaction with these persons by students taking the respective course.

Question 2:

The appropriation of art can be commended for being influential in political, social and economic decision making in the past. President Reagan’s reign during the 1980s was characterized by a hostile conservative climate that shunned the activities of civil right groups, feminism and homosexual activities. This was also coupled with the worsening of the spread of AIDS. The government that was responsible for addressing these concerns underestimated the seriousness of this situation and implicated homosexuality for the spread of the epidemic. This triggered the emergence of a new form of political art that was defined by the ACT UP of 1987. The main aim of this group was to struggle towards ending the AIDS crisis through non partisan means. It mainly comprised of various groups of artists that disregarded the conventional aesthetic criteria. Instead, they synthesized various artistic strategies as well as commercial advertising to attain their propagandistic ends.

Basically, their art was influenced by the concept of appropriation of art. They employed ideas from various artistic practices of renowned artists such as John Heartfield and Barbara Kruger. Also, they used a wide range of Pop Art graphics and the outrageousness that characterized performed art. In particular, they employed different techniques and mediums in creating an impression. This was depended on the type of the occasion that their arts were expected to be used. For instance, they created bold posters containing appropriated images as well as invented texts and used these for certain demonstrations.  Furthermore, they reworked a host of corporate advertisements and various newspaper pages and circulated these to he general public. Also worth mentioning was their tendency to develop video cameras that primarily sought to counter the abuse of the police and the misinterpretations of the media regarding their activities.

One of the graphics that addressed retrograde politicians and popular state figures was the use of the president’s image in Let the Record Show site. This comprised of a Triangle that was pink neon in color. It also contained the “Silence = Death” phrase and was placed alongside the Nuremberg Trials photograph (Speretta, Andrea & Claudia 2). The six positions of the accused Nazis were then occupied by Six AIDS culprits including President Reagan. The real quotes from the six men were also placed in the background of this photograph. Also targeted by these boycott campaigns were the pharmaceutical companies. The ACT UP activists reportedly broke in various pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies and attached stickers that implicated the companies for profiteering from the AIDS epidemic.  In addition, the stickers with the phrase “AIDS! It’s a Big Business” were placed o.............

Type: Essay || Words: 2142 Rating || Excellent

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