Yes, the World Still Needs Art

“The earth without art is just ‘eh.'”

-Unknown

One of the biggest questions critics of art have is whether or not the world really needs art. The answer is yes.

Art has always been an integral part of human history, as evident with the various transformations and roles it has played thus far. The reason I bring this up is because recently street artist Banksy, went to Gaza and spray-painted some new pieces to spark awareness about the destruction in the Gaza strip. After the onslaught by Israeli forces in Operation Protective Edge, over 2,100 innocent civilians were killed, and it lasted for 50 days.

To bring about awareness for the much needed reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, Banksy traveled to Gaza and filmed this short clip here. The clip features Banksy spray-painting his work onto large pieces of rubble, getting to the neighbourhood via tunnels. It also shows children playing amongst the rubble while getting an opinion from one of the older residents in the area.

The important thing is that through his artwork, Banksy was able to bring awareness to a much overlooked issue by the average citizen. With one’s art, it is not only possible to bring attention to an issue, but also something for the locals to contemplate. Furthermore with his work, he was also able to paint some pieces onto the separation wall in the West Bank.

Besides Banksy, there are other artists that have also taken to the canvas, whether it’s the street or not, to bring attention to issues or protest injustices.

One example is that of Afghan street artist Shamsia Hassani, who paints images of women in blue burqas, wanting to bring attention to women’s rights in Afghanistan. Something important to note with Hassani is that she wants to, “colour over the bad memories of war on the walls,” hoping to instead have people know Afghanistan for its art, rather than it’s troubled past.

Additionally, in the realm of human rights, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is one of the more notable example of protesting unjust rule, and breaching of human rights and free expression. He brings to attention the Chinese government’s persecution of free expression with his work in Alcatraz, along with an essay that discusses censorship of art as well.

Besides the artists mentioned above, there are others such as the collaboration of artists that were responsible for creating the large image of a child to protest drone strikes in Pakistan. There is also artists that protest for equal gender representation in the art world like the Guerrilla Girls. Moreover, the work of Object Orange, The Kid, and the artists behind the famous Northern Irish murals, discuss topics from discrimination to solidarity, all while presenting them in a way that exposes the public to these issues.

Another big canvas for artists to highlight injustice is that with the Ferguson movement, creating several pieces standing in solidarity with the movement as well as telling stories on canvases rather than with words. Likewise, the world has seen many iconic pieces centered around issues or events that the world has seen. With every movement comes art to back it up; to connect with the masses and create symbols that add to the meaning.

What one should take away from this is, is the fact that art has always been and always will be an important part of bringing about social change in the world. It is a creative form of expression that has the ability to evoke emotion and change the course of history. Not only is it impossible to ignore, it is important for us to see that it is a way to effectively bring attention to something constructively.

The world is a dreary place without art and the artists who create it. What the world needs is not more wars, more discrimination, more violence or more injustices. We need ways of coping with the messes we’ve already made and finding better outlets for doing so.

So yes, the world indeed needs art, and it always will.

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9 comments

  1. Nice work. That’s a great video about Bansky’s trip to Gaza. It blows your mind when you see the way people are being forced to live. There’s a reason why those images are never shown by the western media, they would never be able to maintain the lies about what’s going on over there if people actually saw with their own eyes.

    This is why art is so powerful and so important, a simple image or song can communicate so much, and this is why the “art” that gets the most exposure from the establishment is non-threatening, superficial or glorifies for values of the ruling class.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 Art in itself as a driving force behind change is so often overlooked and I think it definitely needs more attention. Thats why we have artists like Banksy and The Kid, they show society that art can not only take on unorthodox forms, but also spread a message.

      I think Banksy is one of the artists that I look up to the most and Im glad that hes bringing attention to Gaza and Palestine in general.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Banksy is great, I love his work. I had never heard of The Kid before, but I checked out his site and it’s very powerful stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Theres alot of great street artists. Theres a guy named Shaka who doesnt do much political stuff but his style is pretty unique. There is also A1one and el Seed

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thanks, I’ll check them out

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoyed.
    Your conclusion is so great.
    Thank you so much.
    All the best,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Read this somewhere, thought I should share: Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but by themselves, they are just slabs. It is the music, essays, entertainment and provocations that they access, spawned by the humanities, that animate them, and us.
    Goes the same for pure arts.

    Liked by 1 person

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