As creatives, it's our time to use our voices. “As an activist, you have to act.”
I attended the "Finding Your Voice" event by the Fawcett Society which empowered me to think about how I approach my art. As someone who supports positive change in the world. I try to seek value in all my pursuits especially artistically. Through art, we seek answers. The arts have the power to create social change.
This event highlighted to me how our work is our voice. A lot of us through our craft, seek a level of deep communication. As the climate changes so do our crafts. We are now exploring how we can use technology to create virtual conversations. I think this and other events are helping with that lack of inspiration that we often get from walking around art galleries, watching live theatre and going to gigs. Online events are a space where we share in idea and opinions as we would in social gatherings. Our virtual platforms are more important now than ever. To promote ourselves, our believes and our community.
The female leaders on the panel were from backgrounds such as politics, activism, stand up, writing and communications. I was hoping to record the event but my laptop didn't play ball so I have condensed the pearls of wisdom as best I can.
One of the key messages was how your vulnerability is your power. Sharing your journey allows yourself to open up which in return permits other people to do the same. And this is where your most valuable lessons are learnt. Growth happens outside your comfort zone.
Often our pursuit for equality can feel overwhelming so it is important to believe in your cause as your passion makes the fight easier. So authenticity and representing what you preach is key. Because if you are following something because it's on-trend it won't be your voice, and you will experience burnout. By using the emotions that your causes provoke allows your art to feel rawer.
Using visual aids to make people stop and think about your message, often shocking or funny images create the most impact which is interesting when thinking of promo material for your work. Hashtags are key to creating momentum with any campaign as it can get you in front of the right people. Also talking with a PowerPoint is a good way to keep you on track of getting your message across. Digital channels allow us to react quickly and ensure that we can communicate our message constantly and collaboratively.
As the arts change it's important to ensure audiences are part of our message. The speakers highlighted the importance of a shared voice and inclusion. Live streaming can be a way of making people feel part of the experience/conversation. They stressed the importance of passing the mic to others giving them your platform. Allowing you to be an ally for communities who are underrepresented. Building relationships with your tribe gives you a mutual support system.
When you give your storytelling practice a commitment to share a narrative that moves or speaks to you it enables you to write/talk from what you know. Throughout life, your voice will change and that is ok. As we grow, learn and change it is natural for this to happen.
As women in the arts, we have to fight for our place at the table some of us more than others. So we must call out when we see injustice/inequality to support the wider community. When challenging those in the wrong, rather than going in all guns blazing we must ask a question which makes it difficult to say no to. By using data and factual based information into why the issue needs to be addressed you are more likely to create a change.
If they don't allow you a seat at the table maybe we need make our own. We need to take risks to get to where we want to as our voices are more powerful than we know. Build your brand! People want to know what you stand for and what your beliefs are. You don't have to be an expert to make a change. Remember change starts with one person and one action big or small. Hope this helps anyone interested in political/social issued based art.