A Sparkling New Year Has Arrived!
Of course, we all wonder what a Sparkling New Year might hold and breathe a sigh of relief that the previous one is finally done. Things will get better we cheerfully tell ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of optimism. However optimism on its own rarely achieves anything.
Looking back at 2016, we are not left with a very pretty sight. The world was beset by so many senseless acts of terrorism, bloody debilitating wars, and poverty and slavery on a global scale. Then of course we had the ongoing battle with giant corporations backed by greedy men doing incredibly damaging things to the health of our planet, like fracking, chopping down huge areas of trees and manufacturing pesticides highly toxic to bees. On top of this our world financial system is on the verge of collapse and it seems that no one really knows quite what to do about that.
However is this necessarily a bad thing – the fact that it’s collapsing? Sometimes we need to experience radical change in our lives in order to move onto something better. If we are too afraid to make the changes ourselves then we often find that some outside event will force our hand, which can be even more traumatic. Therefore we need to look at what changes we can make, before other things force us to do so.
We are global citizens now and can no longer really hide from that fact. As artists and creators it is my belief that we have a twofold, sacred, responsibility; to mirror back to others the world we live in, or some aspect of it and to offer an alternative vision of hope and beauty. Artists have long been on the cutting edge of protests against tyranny and the erosion of freedom. And of course the curbing of free speech and the creative arts is one of the first things oppressive systems try to shut down, be they political, religious or philosophical movements. Why else do you think there were moves afoot this last year by governments and large corporations, to try to curb the internet – control what we can say and do on it.
“I was very impressed by Avaaz’s massive 2.8-million person petition. Citizens’ concerns have been taken seriously by the European Parliament.”
Now of course many of you may be thinking, what can I do? I am just one small voice. Well here is something we can all do. Have you heard of a movement called AVAAZ? It currently has 43,381,600 members and is growing daily. It is supported solely by individual donations. Corporations are not allowed to join. It makes your voice heard – so why don’t you join them this year. This is how you and I can help to keep the world safe, to safeguard free speech, end human trafficking, drug trafficking, fight big pharma, protect our climate and so much more.
So my challenge to you at the beginning of this Sparkling New Year, is – what are you going to do, not just for yourself, but for this beautiful planet we live on? How will you contribute to the wellbeing of humanity and the global community? How can your art practice support change and freedom in the world?
Today’s Other Question: What are you focusing on that will become your reality in 2017?