Art for Rebellion

This week we're all celebrating Angie Smibert's new release, THE FORGETTING CURVE.

 One of my very favorite things about Angie's first book, MEMENTO NORA, was the way the kids used art to rebel. Not only did Nora and Micah create a comic that influenced the revolution, but their friend Winter is a sculptor. In the sequel, Angie brings the underground comic back for a cameo, but also introduces Aiden, a hacker who starts an underground radio show called MemeCast.

I love that Angie uses art as a form of protest. In controlling governments, art can sometimes be the only way for an individual to protest--and it can spark a much larger fire. I think an argument can be made linking the Hunger Games (as an artistic form of media) to the rebellion Katniss started--and there is also, of course, the art used in political protests today and in the past.

Perhaps the most famous political protest  work of art is Pablo Picasso's Guernica. In 1937, the fascist Spanish Nationalist group bombed a village in northern Spain known as Guernica. Picasso's painting, Guernica was a response--and protest--to this violent act. It depicts the slaughter of innocents, and Picasso's faces of anguish makes the viewer confront the face of violence.

More famous in our time is the British graffiti-artist, Banksy. Through clever twists on images and words, Banksy's art tends to be a commentary on our current socio-political world. He points out the futility of materialism, the importance of the environment and family, and the value of standing up against conformity. Banksy has led a revolution in the art world--and I defy anyone to try to say graffiti isn't art--and even further, I believe Banksy is the voice of the discontent of our society. It is no wonder that Banksy's fame grew just before the Occupation movement.

Protest artist Willie Bester of South Africa grew famous for his works of art protesting the apartheid. He said, "People have built up a resistance to anything that addresses the psyche of mankind or people or themselves. I believe that we must protest against that which is wrong."

Art is a way for us to do this. We often let ourselves accept the way things are--until we are faced with it. Confronted with. Forced to see that things are not always right. 

This is art.

In MEMENTO NORA, Nora and Micah protest their government through an underground comic. In THE FORGETTING CURVE, Aiden starts a secret radio program. How would YOU use art to protest a corrupt government?

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