Art is not only beauty, it is also a weapon that denounces inequalities and injustices. Activist art has the power to awaken people, it is the catalyst that indicates the significant change we want to experience.
Today at Moneytrans, on the eve of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, we want to write an article that will highlight and celebrate cultural diversity and integration. For this reason, we have chosen to present some artists that we particularly support.
Some of the greatest contemporary activist artists have partnered with the Amplifier Foundation – an “art machine for social change”.
This non-profit organization is dedicated to re-imagining and amplifying the voices of popular movements through art and community engagement. To this end, the Amplifier Foundation funds collaborations between these movements and contemporary artists so that their messages can reach a wider audience. Their objective is to transform artists into activists and observers into participants.
The artist Shepard Fairey, along with Ernesto Yerena and Jessica Sabogal, are some of the artists currently collaborating with Amplifier who believe that activist art has the power to awaken people.
Who are they?
Shepard Fairey is one of the most accomplished street artists in the world. A silkscreen artist, muralist and illustrator, he was first known for his “Andre The Giant has a Posse” sticker campaign while he was at Rhode Island Design School. Then he made his name in the 2008 presidential election with his “Hope” poster by Barak Obama. His work aims to raise awareness of social issues such as equality and immigration.
It’s really about making sure that people remember that We The People means everyone, it means all the people. I think the campaigns were very divisive, more from one side than the other. But it’s just reminding people to find their common humanity, and look beyond maybe one narrow definition of what it means to be American.
Ernesto Yerena is an artist living in Los Angeles. His art highlights political concerns with subjects depicting cultural icons, rebels and ordinary people expressing their position against oppression. Although Yerena identifies himself as a chicano, he also strongly identifies himself as indigenous, which has often been seen in his work. Known for his activism, Yerena is the founder and curator of the Alto Arizona Art campaign and a founding member of the We Are Human campaign.
“I create artwork that everyday working-class people, working-class people of color and everyone else can have a artwork in their homes and can relate to, that their children can grow up with. Images that are empowering. Images that are celebrating culture. Images that are making them become more critical thinkers.” – Ernesto Yerena
Jessica Sabogal is a first generation Colombian muralist. Her art is a haven, a tribute, a creative outlet of adoration and exaltation for women with often misunderstood stories. Her pieces have a vision of feminine identity that is revolutionary and powerful, courageous and beautiful. More recently, she has created a visual campaign called “Women Are Perfect” that attempts to spread this simple but necessary notion around the world.
“Art is an easy way for people to show how they feel simply by posting images on the Internet or in their windows at home so I urge you if you identify with any of how my posters make you feel, please share them. Please be visible.” – Jessica Sabogal
Their work has supported criminal justice reform projects and environmental campaigns working with indigenous groups. So let’s support them!