Art for Social Change

Photography by Edward Burtynsky

“Gardens for all” by Susan Leibovitz Steinman

“Sun mad” by Ester Hernandez

Last weekend, I went to a presentation about Art for Social Change held by Beverly Naidus, an american artist and activist. She showed us a number of different art projects (I posted some of them above). I had to think about a small discussion which I had with Maziar some days ago: I don’t remember his exact words, but he said something that unlike design, art doesn’t (or can’t) help the world to become a better place and that artists are generally not interested in creating or shaping a better world. I didn’t agree with him. I’m sure that both disciplines have active and engaged people who try to give positive impulses to our futures and who are concerned with the problems our world faces. Furthermore I think that in both disciplines this is still a rather small part of the whole professional community – and therefor rather invisible unless you are engaged and interested by yourself.
I wonder if the difference between Art for Social Change and Social Responsive Design (for instance) is, that Art shows the problems or makes problems visible whereas Design tries to find solutions for them. This is just an assumption which came to my mind while watching the art works Beverly presented and it’s open for discussion.

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