ArtSolution Sessions

afropunk solution sessions: season 2, episode 3

November 27, 2019

I will never forget Janelle Monae shouting from the stage at AFROPUNK Paris about the need for all us to uplift the queer community and impeach Donald Trump. I could have gotten that sentiment in policy papers or from following congressional hearings, but something about Janelle screaming that meaningful message from a stage to roaring cheers was much more compelling than CSPAN could ever be.

Sometimes it’s easy to think of activism in one bucket, totally distinct from fun stuff like music, art, and turning up. But that isn’t how we live our lives. From cathartic group performances of Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” during Black Lives Matter protests to musicians on stage, Black folks have always blended the two worlds of art and activism.

Black people have been making all kinds of art for forever — for utility, for creative expression, for activism. What does it look like when our art and resistance merge to inspire social and political action?

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Charmaine Minniefield, and Kimberly Drew are artists and activists who use their work to challenge street harassment, Black erasure, white supremacy, and so much more. They give proof to the idea that art can challenge, and it can change.

In this episode of AFROPUNK Solution Sessions, we dive into the ways that Black artists are using their art to create that change. Are you ready to make change with your art? Here is how they suggest you do do:

  • Looking to the past for precedents on how Black folks married art and activism to guide our resistance today.
  • Leaning into you any fear you might feel about using your voice
  • Letting your own identity and history inform how you use your voice in your art.

Read and Listen to more of AFROPUNK Solution Sessions