Looking up the meaning of the word PROTEST in the dictionaries, you will find:
protest is the act of saying or showing publicly that you object to something
or maybe better:
to give manifest expression to objection or disapproval; remonstrate.
But none of the above definitions can communicate, transmit, give back the power and charge of the act of protest.
Even if we limit ourselves to the news of the last days, we realize that the world is crossed by a wave of protests, I quote below the main ones:
- HONG KONG: while the protests of the pro-democracy movement continue, the controversial national security law imposed by China and passed recently was implemented in a shocking way with the arrest of Jimmy Lai, a tycoon who owns Apple Daily and Next Magazine, a newspaper and magazine critical of Carrie Lam's local government;
- LEBANON: in Beirut - after the catastrophe of August 4 - the protest against the government, with the assault on the ministries, is spreading;
- BELARUS: in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, clashes continue between police and demonstrators protesting against the results of the presidential election on Sunday, August 9, in which Alexander Lukashenko was confirmed president. Lukashenko's opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya did not accept the results and said she was the real winner of the election;
- ISRAEL: the weekly protests against the measures taken by the Israeli government to deal with the pandemic are now a regular occurrence. Protesters accuse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of loosening restrictive measures too soon, causing a second wave of contagion to which the government is responding with little preparation. To the protests for the poor state of the economy are added those of a political nature, by those who ask for Netanyahu's resignation because of the alleged corruption involving him.
- USA: racial protests resumed in waves following the killing by suffocation by Minneapolis police of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American.
How does Art intervene in this scenario? How does the work of the artists witness and/or support the protests?
There is an art of protest, an art of denunciation, a militant art ... a GeoPolitical Art ... as somewhat demonstrated by the viral artworks emerging from Hong Kong's Protests.
I'll talk about it in the next posts!
[caption: Lady Liberty Hong Kong, 2019, on the top of Lion Rock before being vandalized]