Turning upon the assumption that art can, in fact, perform a function, and that its function is social, political, and/or cultural, this essay investigates the effectiveness of art as a form of activism. Not all art must be created with political intentions, but somewhere in the process, context, product, or interpretation of art lies social, political, and cultural value. Every work of art is a product of its time and place, and it is indicative of a relationship, sentiment, or occurrence in the artist’s life—and when that life belongs to a marginalized community, those relationships, sentiments, and occurrences take on a different weight. This essay will discuss how art and activism bring out positive and negative attributes in each other, helping each other in some ways and hurting each other in other ways. Finally, it will argue that art, in both its process and product, is an effective and necessary means for Indigenous peoples to engage in healing, decolonization, and social, cultural, and political processes.
Siddiqui, Jasmeen, "Necessary Affairs: Exploring the Relationship Between Indigenous Art and Activism" (2017). 2017 Undergraduate Awards. 26.