Over the past 10 years both my professional pursuit and academic research has focused largely on exploring links between ‘the arts’ and social transformation. As a result, my multiple roles as a graduate student, not-for-profit sector member, musician, and activist have exposed me to some of the various ways art can be used both as a space to engage in dialog about pressing social issues, and as an accessible tool to empower individuals in their own effort to solicit social change. Unfortunately, short of actively seeking out socially/politically oriented exhibits, projects, or organizations, it can be relatively difficult to learn about them.
To address this in a small way I thought I would share 5 of the better online magazines that cover the myriad of topics related to Art, Activism, and Political engagement. Please check them out, and if you know of any others that I’ve missed, leave a comment and share your thoughts!
Art Threat is an online magazine focused on exploring political art, cultural policy, and the role of art and artists in soliciting social change. I highly recommend this site. It’s updated daily and features a great mix of engaging Canadian and international content.
Adbusters is an online and print magazine based out of Vancouver for activists fighting to change the way information flows and meaning is produced in society.
The Power of Culture is a site about Culture and Development featuring reviews about art and cultural expression in conjunction with human rights, education, the environment, emancipation and democratisation. Currently this site is on hiatus due to funding issues but still features hundreds of interesting articles and educational materials. I reviewed this site recently (An Epitaph to the “Power of Culture”) and offered a list of links to particularly interesting posts.
Fuse Magazine is one of Canada’s foremost critical periodicals on art and culture. With a focus on visual and media art, and a strong emphasis on the diverse communities that make up the contemporary Canadian art world, FUSE examines the issues and emerging debates from a political/cultural perspective. Each issue contains a vibrant mix of opinion, commentary on the arts, cultural analysis, interviews and critical reviews of art exhibitions and books. FUSE is published quarterly.
Guernica is an award-winning magazine focused on art and politics. It regularly features work from high-profile writers and has received praise in a number of mainstream publications including Esquire, the New York Times, BBC, and the Guardian.