Social injustices exist all around the world and people are speaking out against them to improve their individual communities in various ways, such as through the arts.
Learning about your community
Every person has different experiences in their communities — some positive and some negative. Those experiences depend on gender, religion, age, etc.
These demographics can have a huge impact on how others in the same community view and treat you. Because of this, many communities need change.
Ssome communities don’t view men and women as equals, and your race can affect how you are treated.
- In Jordan, women do not have equal economic opportunities, causing their unemployment to be more than double that of men.
- In India, women make up around 30 percent of the labor force.
- And in Indonesia, the average wage for women is 30 percent lower than that of working men.
Living in these restrictive and discriminating communities really can have an impact on a person, especially while growing up.
At a young age, it’s easy for these ideas of racism, sexism and discrimination to plant themselves into your head and not allow yourself to decide what is right and what is wrong.
Social change is starting to happen all over the globe: From the United States’ Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements, to the International Rebellion happening in at least 60 cities around the world, people are getting up the courage to stand up and fight for what they believe to be right.
The Me Too movement’s purpose is to stop sexual harassment and assault and help survivors heal. This movement became extremely popular and globally widespread thanks to social media and the hashtag #MeToo.
The Black Lives Matter movement formed to stop the violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and to stop racism. Because of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, this movement spread to other countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.
The International Rebellion is a new movement centered around climate change and getting governments and businesses to do something about it.
Social justice through the arts
Art is more than meets the eye. It always has deeper messages and throughout history, artists have been creating pieces that communicate and bring attention toward social issues and activism.
One popular form of expressive art is the selfie, which shows awareness about how self fits into community and how community fits into the self. This allows the younger generations to learn how and when they should speak up about things.
The Stop Telling Women to Smile movement addresses gender-based street harassment and started in 2012 in Brooklyn, New York. Tatyana Fazlaizadeh began this project by gathering portraits of women who she’s talked with about their experiences with harassment. The movement has spread to various cities. The problem of street harassment is a serious worldwide issue and showcasing these portraits and captions helps spread awareness.