In Acts of Resistance, Amber Massie-Blomfield writes about the artists who have treated the protest site as their canvas and contributed to movements that have transformed history – from the Paris Commune of 1871 to the four-year Siege of Sarajevo, from the musicians in Auschwitz to ACT UP’s 1989 invasion of the New York Stock Exchange, and from the Niger Delta to indigenous communities in Bolivia.
Including stories and artists from across the globe, including Susan Sontag, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Claude Cahun and Theaster Gates – alongside collectives, communities, amateurs and anonymous creators who have used their art as an expression of resistance – this fascinating book asks what is the purpose of art in a world on fire? Why are artists compelled to paint, write, dance and make music, even when the odds are stacked against them? And how can artistic creation be a genuine form of political resistance?
Combining cultural criticism, history and memoir, Acts of Resistance is an urgent reminder that art can make a human life more bearable, and can be a means of building the things that a person needs to survive the bleakest circumstances. It is a testament to that idea, and to the people who have risked their lives to prove it is so. While their stories are remarkable, they are also a reminder that each of us can use creativity in defense of our humanity.