In the words of Michael Moore, “however this ends, that’s where we begin”. We know how the election ended, now it’s time to begin.
First, let’s all let out a consecutive sigh of frustration and distress. Get it all out, right now. Good.
Now is the time to start doing something with our feelings that seemed to bombard us after this election. What better way to do that than art?
Writing is always a great way to get a point across, and there happen to be quite a few ways to write your feelings in an artist way.
The first is poetry, this can range from spoken word to to quick two line poems in your notebook. Whatever the case may be, put it out there. Poetry has such a profound impact when depicting personal points of view. It’s a wonderful way to show how you’re feeling without going right out and saying it.
Of course, writing comes in many different forms. Think about sharing your personal stories online. During a time like this, it is crucial that your voice is heard, because you never know who else needed to hear it. If you find you don’t have any personal stories or can’t weave words like poets, write informatively. Educating, even a small group of readers, can go a long way.
I’m sure we’re no strangers to the kinds of videos that give us chills. Think back to history class where I’m sure you watched a documentary or two made some number of years ago. The people who made those videos are people just like you. Take this as an opportunity to document a very confusing time for America.
Make. Everyone’s. Voices. Heard. There is no form of art more impactful for giving people a voice. Capture the voices of those with oppressed identities. In recent years the camera has become a safe space for thousands of people who would’ve otherwise been silenced. Utilize social media; find people in your area that are open to an interview. In these moments you are not only a director, but a healer.
Photograph Everyone and Everything
I see pictures as mini silent films. In other words, photography has such a beauty to it in the sense that it can capture so much in a singular shot, without saying a word. Take your camera to protests and rallies. Capture the diverse faces and the profound passion each protester has for what they’re fighting for.
Of course there’s another side to photography beyond capturing what you see in front of you. There is such a diverse population of people that live in this country. Like with video, capture identities, but this time not with words. Think about taking a simple portrait and adding elements of each model’s identity, culture, and background into it.
Art, for centuries, has had the power to bring people together. No matter the circumstance, there was always art. Now is no exception. Even if you want to make art that has no aspect related to the election: that’s fine too. Make happy art. Write music that you’d want to dance to. Paint with extraordinary colors. Artists are the glue that stick us all together. Whether anyone likes it or not, art will always be part of who we are and where we go next.
Cover Image by Ginger Port