Art and Activism at Bioneers 2016

Art and Activism at Bioneers 2016

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Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

– Bertolt Brecht

Cultural revolutions almost inevitably precede political revolutions. Artists are the inspired cultural messengers who can channel the zeitgeist, bringing forth the soul and spirit of social change movements. These visionary change-makers inspire us, they crystallize a vision, and they lift our hearts. What would the movements of the 1960s have been without that era’s incredible cultural innovations: its music, art, dance, and poetry; its groundbreaking film, theater, design, and literature?

This year at Bioneers, a cultural revolution will be in full flower. We believe that highlighting and celebrating our artists and performers is at the heart of this movement of movements to restore nature and our human communities.

Artwork by Louis Masai - Image by Tee Byford

Because these artists work with a social purpose, they are also actively building movements with their art. Bioneers is a place where they can share that work, and speak directly about how their art is coupled with practical change. This year we feel it is especially important to provide a platform for this broader work. Among some highlights:

  • Eve Ensler will premiere a scene from her new play Coconut, and co-lead the One Billion Rising Drum Dance Activation Circle with Afia Walking Tree
  • Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, 16-year-old Indigenous rapper and climate activist, will participate in five sessions, including a closing jam session with Climbing PoeTree, Itzcuauhtli Roske-Martinez, Afia Walking Tree and Deb Lane
  • London-based artist Louis Masai is on a mural-painting tour of the USA, raising awareness for endangered species and the importance of biodiversity. (His work is featured on our programming materials this year!) He will lead a panel on visual arts and social action, and a hands-on workshop on the importance of bees.
  • Bioneers Film Festival – with filmmakers and film subjects in attendance!
  • Lunch hour performances on the Sun Stage by a diverse group of vibrant artists – with circus theater, music, a “Trashion Show”, dance, and more!
  • Artists’ Village – Eight different artists working at the intersection of art and social justice will be displaying their work (some of it for sale!)
  • A wide variety of art installations – many of them interactive – will be showcased on the conference grounds

Afia Walking Tree and Deb Lane at Bioneers 2015

We look forward to sharing this movement-building art, and much more, with you next week at the Bioneers Conference!

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    Bioneers is a fertile hub of visionaries and innovators who are developing practical solutions for the world's most pressing environmental and social challenges.

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