HomeStandard StyleEdutainment mix: Artivism the synonym to edutainment

Edutainment mix: Artivism the synonym to edutainment

By Raymond Millagre Langa

AS an artist, I believe that art can be a tool for the promotion of good things, and in the process it can also play a role in the instigation of growth and development.

The artists have a very critical role to play in the path of social action. Social action is about people coming together to improve their lives and artivism, which is art in activism can play a very active role.

The artist takes the role of the voice that stimulates productive action. When referring to productive action, it means stimulating consciousness on the everyday realities that affect the majority of individuals.

Artivism uses the creative powers of the artists such as music, photography, theatrics, writing, spoken word and storytelling to be advocates of social change and development.

The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has also brought forth many changes and these have affected the socio-economic and political realities of many individuals. It is at a critical time like this that artists have a pivotal role to play in the stimulation of social change.

I become educated when I listen to old school music by artists such as the late Edwin Hama who sang the song Asila Mali or most of Thomas Mapfumo’s songs which are engraved in telling the story which remains currently relevant and is timeless, but is also enmeshed in artivism.

Both of these are classical examples of how the artists can be agents of stimulating social change. The concept of artivism is a fusion of art and activism.

In the process the society is edutained which is the positive result.

The artist needs to play a critical role in raising rights awareness.  This is so because the rights of the citizens have to be protected. The artists have to be the ambassadors of peace, which starts from the inner person stretching to the globe as a whole.

Especially now, the world needs a message of peace, love and tranquility and the call for a united voice. As musicians it is time the lyrics grow and develop into something that stimulates change and development. It also becomes imperative that the audience invests in music with messages, which is entertainment with consciousness.

When artists stimulate consciousness, they become agents of positive change. Our current global context is characterised by youth who are in need of growth and development and have to be conscientised on many issues, especially those that relate to their sexual health as many of them engage in early sex and they become vulnerable to early pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and HIV and Aids.

The girl child is even more vulnerable to the risks of abuse and manipulation. Every key issue has to be addressed in artivism, which is relevant in enhancing the voice of the creative to be heard and in the process to push for action from those in the echelons of power.

Art remains very useful in the transformation of people’s lives even on a small scale where art is activism. Artivism means the artist taking the action in the practical sense engaging within their local community and facilitating the development at grassroots level.

For example visual artists have a very critical role to play in creating “kasi” (local) galleries, where they exhibit their art which can be a good artivism tool. The youth in local areas can converge and create a theatre piece and arrange a theatre show that can entertain the community.

Many individuals have projectors and powerful sound systems at their homes.  Why not use them to create a “kasi” walk through movie, which is local production and has a message that teaches the wider community about life.

All these remain the critical of different ideas that can be used and applied in making art to become a tool of activism.

Artivism does not mean the stimulation of violent behaviour.

It seeks to advocate for productive change which orients to development.

Artivism comes with a price as it is a radical form of art, which in a great many cases is not profit based. The artist manifests as the voice of the marginalised.

Due to artivism, many artists have been and will be persecuted.  But an artist needs to persevere and endure. Artivism is a very powerful artistic call. My advice to the artist is that the socially engaged artist must be an artivist. This creates a condition where the society will shift for the better.

Artivism is not political, but it is developmental in nature because it orients with growth. We are all called to practice useful art as creatives, and art that will be the voice for the voiceless.

  • Raymond Millagre Langa is a musician, orator, poet, writer and founder of Indebo Edutainment Trust.  Follow Raymond Millagre Langa on Facebook, Instagram @Millagre Ray L, email:  indeboedutainmenttrust@gmail.com and millagrepapaito@gmail.com

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