Lindsay Schwietz’s Top 10 Best Art + Political Moments in the Canadian Election 2011
When I planned to spend the month of April doing something artistic every day as a part of my year of month-long social experiments, I had no idea there would be an election. I was both excited and a little put off when I found out that the election would happen just after my month of 30 Days of Art was over. Would the art world be dominated by election-related themes, or would the politics add to my experience?
To answer those questions, I have written my Top Ten best moments to do with art and politics in the past month:
10. Starting a conversation with the political activists sitting beside me after watching Tommy Taylor talk about his arrest at the G20 summit in You Should Have Stayed Home at the Buzz Festival.
9. The Yes Men Live in Toronto – I say Yes to that ideal world!
8. The art on the Department of Culture art crisis map – from haiku to Harper Gaga.
7. Researching youth and the election and seeing all the ways youth are involved this year: vote mobs, websites (see post on Department of Culture April 20th)
6. Man, there’s a lot of anti-Harper art out there! “Steve, Steve, it’s time to leave. It’s time for this charade to end. You’re running out of rules to bend…” – John Roby
5. Social media. My favourite tweet from praxistheatre: “Apparently Montreal #WreckingBall2011 used puppets for “In Treatment”. Puppets! In gov’t? Never. #WB2011”
4. Therapy session between the major party leaders, done Wrecking Ball style across Canada.
3. Writing about art and politics makes me talk more about art and politics. I have reminded many of my friends and readers they need to vote. (Just in case you are using the excuse that you can’t vote because you don’t know where to go, use vote.ca to help. And if you just want to get Harper out of power so you can stop making art about him, check out projectdemocracy.ca)
2. The PEN Canada writers-in-exile urging all of us to be involved in our democracy: “People of Canada, you are free to publicly criticize your government. Something others in the world can only dream about.” – Ava Homa
And my number one moment of writing about art for thirty days during election time is:
1. The moment I realized I actually believe that things can change if we all just vote. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic, but I’d rather that than the alternative. Art month has inspired me.
To follow along with my year of month-long social experiments visit threehundredsixtysixdays.com