Many great movements are said to be born out of oppression or frustration. Pick a time and you can guarantee that there is always some art form that provides the pulse for a particular movement. Look at the rise of German expressionism, protest songs of the 60s, or the use of documentary film making to promote reform and you’ll see that they all serve as artistic time capsules.
Hip-Hop is such an expansive genre of music. There are sounds that are specific to certain regions, new sub-genres that seem to pop up out of nowhere, and a new generation of artists picking up the mantle. Hip-Hop is more than music, it’s a living culture that is constantly evolving.
Comics have changed drastically from the humorous and over the top era that popularized them. No longer are they simple books for little kids. Comics have long-standing fan bases that cherish the story and characters alike. Today these publications are more gritty and the heroes often operate in a grey area.
Social media has reinvented the way we view activism. No longer do you need to pass out flyers or go knock on several doors to spread the word. A simple tweet to your followers or a post on Instagram will reach more people, in a short amount of time. This is especially true for individuals that are internet sensations or have a massive following. Social media presence is king in today’s society.
So far 2018 has been an amazing year for Black cinema. No two portrayals are the same and there is a little something for everyone. While there is still progress to be made these films are refreshing to see. Long before its release, I had been hearing talks of a film adaption of Angie Thomas’ debut novel “The Hate U Give.” The bidding war for the rights was being discussed, reactions to the cast, and even talks of colorism all shrouded the film before it even hit theaters. One of the running themes or emotions I felt while watching this film was the honesty of it all. As a Black woman watching this film I felt seen and I knew so many others would too.
Who determines what is beautiful? Too often we are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that’s not fully true. At very young ages we are bombarded with images that indoctrinate us with what society deems as attractive. However, in reality most people do not meet these unrealistic beauty standards. It’s possible that someone may be well into adulthood before they finally learn how to embrace their features. This was indeed the case for 25-year-old Sudanese model Nyakim Gatwech.
It’s not often that I get a chance to probe the brain of an artist. I’m curious about what drives them, what scares them, and why they chose a specific medium to express themselves. Too often we view artists as these aloof individuals that can’t be touched. However, when you do have the chance to meet a REAL artist, you quickly realize that they’re unbelievably human.
Art is so interesting because of its subjectiveness and various forms. It is a medium that allows limitless creativity. In the hands of an artist, an illustration can tell a unique story or capture a moment in someone’s life. There are no rules just free flowing expression, for Cuban artist Yoel Díaz Gálvez his work is an extension of himself.
There is something interesting about the climate of racial injustice and its relationship with technology, specifically cameras. The idea of a post-racial society is a myth and a quick Google search will make this apparent to anyone who took the time to look it up. The hatred isn’t more prevalent, it’s just being recorded. It’s sad to say that it took these atrocities to jolt a nation that had become too desensitized into action.
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