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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category




Path Diverging

Originally uploaded by bellafiore

So it’s November and so much has changed. We voted and elected a new president who promises to be the voice of change. Already there are those around the world who respect us more as a country just because we elected him. To gain respect just for making this choice is incredible. The power of positive thought and talk; to tell others that they will be included in the process of government for the first time, that there is realistic hope for the future. We have not felt THIS in a long time. The Bush administration ruled out of fear: fear of what to do. They inflicted fear upon us, using 9-11 as an excuse for the war we’re now mired in. They used it as a smokescreen to divert our attention from the numerous civil liberties they took from us and from the numbers of environmental laws they reversed. FEAR! I am tired of being afraid and hopeless. It is good to feel proud and hope-filled again. It is good to think that maybe there is a future for my children, that perhaps someone will take charge and lead us into and through the beginning of the 21st century with new ideas. So now what?….It is time to go back to work; roll up our sleeves and pour our energies into making our country what it can and should be. It is time for all those who have been left out for so long to finally be included again. Being an educator I am especially proud and hopeful for my students and the promise of what the future can be under this hopeful president who I think will govern, not rule, with humility-a trait that has not been part of the current administration. This has nothing to do with art-making, but everything to do with how I feel and it is as if a great weight has been lifted. To have HOPE restored is the most powerful of things. Let us hope that at least some of what has been promised comes to pass.

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It is an exciting time right now, the Olympics will be followed by the spectacle of the Democratic and Republican conventions.  As an artist I often look at these events and wonder what they have to do with me?  What can I do to make a difference to be heard?  Does our society value the artist or care about art?  It feels like art is invisible, on the fringe…not really making a difference or mattering to the greater good of society and the world.  With this in mind I was interested in the community of Minneapolis/St. Paul and their take on the upcoming political machine about to roll into town.  I consider the Twin Cities a place where art is intrinsically part of the fabric of the cityscape and is valued by its people.  The article in the New York Times discusses the reaction and actions that both Minneapolis/St. Paul and Denver intend to take to celebrate the conventions from an arts point of view.  The Unconvention is a clever way to look at the process of politics and not really try to make people be for or against Obama or McCain. It is artists taking action to call attention to the political process.  The Denver version called Dialog:City will feature many things including a political karaoke  created by Daniel Peltz.  This will allow citizens to re-perform the speeches of John McCain and Barack Obama.  Both arts related events make me wish I could visit the cities and participate.  You can take part in some of the events.  There is a YouTube component to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Unconvention where you can record a brief video and have it be part of the I approve this message project.  I watched a few of these and they are fabulous examples of the freedom of speech.  I especially like the one woman’s sarcasm as she discusses the minions whose lives will be interrupted for four days because of the traffic jams that the conventions will cause.

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