hands off our revolution: new global art project launched to counter right-wing rhetoric

The art world starts its fightback against the nationalist and populist right.

by Felix Petty
16 February 2017, 12:21pm

More than 200 artists, musicians, writers and art world professionals have come together to launch Hands off Our Revolution, an artistic initiative to confront the rising spectre of fascism around the world. It will take the form of a series of international exhibitions and art projects, with the first major project to be announced next month.

The new movement will shine a light on the rise of rightwing populism in the US, Europe and elsewhere in the world and questioning the state we're in. From Trump to Le Pen, Wilders to Orban, Putin to Erdogan, these last few years have been defined by the rise and entrenchment of the illiberal, authoritarian strongman in the Western world. It is important that artists do as much as possible to find an alternative, propose solutions, and encourage dialogue.

In a statement, Hands off Our Revolution say, "art can help counter the rising rhetoric of right-wing populism and fascism, and its increasingly stark expressions of xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, and unapologetic intolerance. 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 in solidarity. We will not go quietly. It is our role and our opportunity, using our own particular forms and public spaces, to engage people in thinking together and debating ideas, with clarity, openness and resilience".

A number of artists and cultural figures have already signed up, John Akomfrah, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Anish Kapoor, Wolfgang Tillmans and Michael Stipe all pledging to support the new movement. To celebrate the launch, Mark Titchner has created a series of gifs to disseminate across the web to your hearts content.

Read: In 2017, Derek Jarman's artistic and political vision is more important than ever.


Text Felix Petty

hands off our revolution