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Art as Political Expression Essay

Question Description

In our previous essays and class discussions, we’ve examined how our personal circumstances

(age, race, sex, socioeconomic status, etc) all affect how we view the world around us. Similarly,

the way in which we view the world, which we might generally refer to as our personal ideology,

influences how we interact with the world, which in turn changes the world, albeit usually in

relatively small ways; thus, our subjective view of reality and objective reality are interactive in

nature, each altering the other in sometimes hard to predict ways.

Artistic creations like poems, books, and movies are, in many respects, products of their creators’

circumstances. Artists’ beliefs and values are often reflected in their works; for example, world-

renowned anti-consumerist street artist Banksy’s works are both artistic expressions of Banksy’s

creative genius as well as political statements. Interestingly, artistic expression of political

dogma is often more palatable than traditional, overt expressions of the very same principles.

People who might refuse to have so much as a conversation about consumer culture might still

contemplate the “truth value” of the most recent Banksy street art.

Keeping our readings/discussions from this semester and the preceding paragraphs on the

interactive relationship between objective/subjective realities and on art as a medium of political

expression in mind, respond to the following prompt:

In a well-developed, argumentative essay of at least 4 full pages, examine the use of art as

political expression. Why do you think art—understood broadly to include traditional

modes like painting and sculpture as well as contemporary modes like movies, memes,

etc—is so effective a medium for political speech? Are there any drawbacks to using art in

this manner? Explain.


Your argument must feature at least two of our readings from this semester


You may substitute outside sources for one or both required assigned sources

You must include at least 1 outside source

MLA style throughout

Paragraphs organized around your own ideas

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