The right to agrarian reform for food sovereignty campaign (FSC) is a radical, autonomous social movement through which mobilisation and advocacy struggles result in access to land and water, secured rights and access to appropriate production and extension support ...Learn more
In the struggle for agrarian transformation, SPP envisions secure access and tenure, ownership and control over productive land, water and natural resources for land based agrarian livelihoods. It addresses the social (power relations); political (landlessness)...Learn more
People have the right to produce food in ways that are politically, economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. We aim to make communities gain control over their local food systems through local agroecological production which allows people ...Learn more
The Awakening of the Contemporary Mobilisation of Artivism in Post-Apartheid South Africa
By: Shanél Johannes
Catch calls such as “Born Free” and “The Rainbow Nation” are the facades of “liberation” for many South Africans. The post-apartheid reality attained political and civic rights to a certain extent, but lacks in the transformative socio-economic rights. Young activists are constantly being criticised by some older generation activists because of their engagements in artivism. Ageism and paternalism pending from some older generation activists, can be regarded as their defensive conservatism to emancipating the struggle via the use of alternative activist tools. For example, some older activists believe that the young generation artivists do not have anything to protest against. However, young artivists are constantly understanding the intersectional oppression of capitalism, patriarchy, gender violence, and socio-economic-agrarian injustices. Instead of using normative activist tools such as sessions, marches, dialogues, pickets, debates, and panel discussions, artivism has become a powerful tool for many young activists. Artivism can be defined as activism through art – a global movement to occupy publicly visible space in order to discuss and display social issues and to explore understandings of diverse relationships within society. Open spaces allow one to create and be part of collective building, as well as embrace the creative sharing of the individual encountered politics. Young artists, actors, poets, rappers, visual art exhibitors, film directors, dancers, and other creative artists of expressions, use their talents as tools to mobilise awareness and seek to bring about change. ‘The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is – it’s to imagine what is possible.’ – bell hooks The power of artivism is its ability to centre the lives of people who are marginalised, ignored, and erased by society because they exist outside the boundaries of expected societal norms. Art exhibitions are often used as methods of resistance with missions to transform the ways in which one sees the struggles of many global citizens and the oppressions faced by oneself. For example, Victor Mukasa, Ugandan LGBTI human rights defender, states, ‘I felt lost for a long time. I thought there was no other like me. I thought I was abnormal, strange and this made me powerless.’ He gave thanks to Proudly African & Transgender, for the activism through art which ensures that the future generations will not feel lost. In addition, he believes that when people look at his portrait, “they will gain power, hope, peace of mind and pride. They will know that another transgender existed before and it is ok to be gender non-conforming.” Activists who use artivism, often direct their movements to envision and enable the change that they want to see within their societies. Therefore, artivism is a very important way of understanding diverse social positioning, oppressions, and experience of various individuals in the world. Artivists express diverse ways to eradicate social ills through the use of art, culture, technology, and diverse creative expressions. Older and younger generation activists should forge alliances, learn from one another, celebrate artivist creativity, and ultimately unite to better livelihoods and liberate individuals who are enslaved by diverse systems of oppression.