Top image: Hands Off Our Revolution GIF banner by Mark Titchner
More than 200 artists, musicians, writers and curators have signed up to a global art coalition called the Hands Off Our Revolution movement, whose website was formally launched on today.
Founded by the artist Adam Broomberg, the movement was organised in reaction to events such as the Brexit vote, the continuing refugee crisis, and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.
Leading art figures including Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson, Ed Ruscha, Mark Wallinger, Cornelia Parker, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tacita Dean and Anish Kapoor have all given their support. Kapoor who was among the first supporters, said the artists were united in a mission to counter small-minded prejudice.
Their manifesto states:
We are a global coalition affirming the radical nature of art. We believe that art can help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism, fascism and the increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and unapologetic intolerance.
We know that freedom is never granted – it is won. Justice is never given – it is exacted. Both must be fought for and protected, yet their promise has seldom been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp, as at this moment.
As artists, it is our job and our duty to reimagine and reinvent social relations threatened by right-wing populist rule. It is our responsibility to stand together in solidarity. We will not go quietly. It is our role and our opportunity, using our own particular forms, private and public spaces, to engage people in thinking together and debating ideas, with clarity, openness and resilience.
The collective promises to stage exhibitions and events confronting the rise of rightwing bigotry with the aim to channel anger and explore the possibility of envisaging a different future. According to Broomberg participants are enrolling the support of arts institutions and details of events will be announced in March.
For the project launch, artist Mark Titchner created an animated web banner. He said: “No to the society that demands we all be alike. No to the coercion to consume and conform. No to the poisoned world that drives its people to flee into introspection and solitude. No to the dislocation, depression and anger this breeds.
“Art is for empathy. Art is for loving your brothers and your sisters and yourself. Art is for a chance to live.”