How Artists Deal with Politics | Arts in Context Shorts


– Um. – Oh my gosh. (laughs) – Uh, yes. (playful music) – Yesterday I heard
something really great in an interview with a,
somebody who’s written about the possibility of nuclear
apocalypse in the era of Trump. She had said that there’s a
great peace that comes to you when you give yourself
to the coming apocalypse rather than speculating
on whether or not the apocalypse is happening, and I really, really liked that. I really, it really
resonated with me. From here on out, I want
to kind of look at it as, as more like, “Okay, an
apocalypse might happen, “But maybe that
frees me to focus on “The things that really matter.” I’m making sure that
I’m doing what I can to take care of the
people in my lives, right, I’m like, many
drops make an ocean, and so maybe, in a more
pressive political climate that seems more true and
that’s more tangible. – I think by virtue of
being a creative of color, by virtue of being a
marginalized person that there is, like, a political
quality to all of your work even if it’s not intentional
because there’s this, like, it’s almost radical
for a marginalized person to like, have feelings
and emotions unrelated to what they are and these
things they were born as. We want to defend ourselves, and we want to speak
out and bring, you know, love and light and unity. – The political climate has
really influenced the way myself and my collaborator,
Beth, understand that we really need to speak
our truth and our voices. It’s always important
to speak truth and to represent for a
voice that you don’t see. – It’s just very depressing,
and it’s not very inspiring. It’s almost makes you wanna quit and like, start building
a bunker or something. (laughs) Instead of, like, doing
music ’cause it’s just very, these are very scary
times, you know? – It’s had a huge
affect on my art to the point where I’ve kind of, I’ve, I haven’t been
able to create as much because I go into
this anxiety of like, “Oh my God, what is
going on out there?” But at the same
time, I also know that’s the reason why I
need to be doing more work to bring more color
into the world, to keep the destruction at bay. (laughs) – I never thought of the work
that I did before as political and after November of 2016,
everything I did was political. We did a Queen
tribute show in 2017 and, you know, it’s
just meant to be fun and celebrating
healthy relationships and it also happened to
be a fundraiser for SAFE, but I got to host that show
and I used that platform to just remind the audience
about how important consent was, how important it was to accept
people and who they loved, regardless of who that was and definitely in my
capacities as a host for shows I’ve taken it as my
political pulpit. – I mean, those things have
always been there, right, at the end of the day. I think, there’s also
kind of like a counter, counter culture type of
work, where it’s like, it’s more celebratory, you know, celebratory of other
communities and, and people of color as well, especially in this, like,
anti-immigrant, anti-everything, or anti-progression really,
phase that we’re in. – I am doing everything I can
to make people feel welcome and to also stand up and be
as subversive as possible because that’s actually
the role that art can play. (calming music) (chimes)

Maurice Vega

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