Earlier this month, I wrote a post called, World Crises And The Fiction Writer ~ Can They Help Humanity?.
Four days ago, I read Ollin Morales post, What Ever Happened to The Timely Artist? (which has disappeared since this post was first written… :-( .
In his post, Ollin said:
“…artists aren’t willing to exert their power anymore, nor, I would argue, are they taking up the great responsibility conferred upon them to help people understand the mood, or at least tell people, simply:
In the words of Buffalo Springfield:
“There’s bad lines being drawn, / and nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong… / Paranoia strikes deep, / into your life it will creep. / It starts when you’re always afraid. / Step out of line, the man comes / and takes you a-way. / Stop, now! What’s that sound? / Everybody look what’s going down!”
In my post, among other questions, I asked:
* Is fiction a proper tool for purposely proposing solutions to world crises?
* Does it go against some “law” of creativity to ask writers to make their fiction conform to some response to world conditions?
* What is the role in society of the fiction writer?
Another question I asked was:
“…can writers be more aware of how their work could include elements of plot or character or theme that, even if in a small way, contribute to a saner, healthier, more tranquil world?”
And, Ollin had said:
“My end goal is to give readers hope, strength and tools to get through a challenging age like this one. It’s not about whether I’ll succeed at this goal, it’s about whether I am trying to succeed. Because that’s my role as an artist in the world.”
The true beauty of blogging is the conversation the comments can become.
Here are some snippets from my readers’ comments:
“I’ve always been impressed with the TV show, Star Trek (the original). Gene Roddenberry challenged the society of that time to consider a world with social and ethnic diversity. It was a very idealistic story, at a time when equal rights was still in its infancy.”
“…now is not the time for writers to be silent. Oh, no. We must strive ever harder to put our words down in the hopes that it will benefit, comfort, and teach some.”
“Creative people are *not* obligated to be propagandists, and most are better off not trying to fill that slot. If nothing else, obvious propaganda has a very short life-span.”
“…I try to incorporate a sense of awareness of various issues into my writing. I should rephrase that. I don’t try to. It sort of happens without much (if any) conscious effort….I don’t know how I’d define humanity, exactly, though I do think it’s much more than a bunch of individuals. How we interrelate is vital. As a group, we can build up or destroy our surroundings and ourselves. Fiction can definitely play a role in awareness. Often, a fiction story has more power than nonfiction. The message seeps in while the reader is engrossed in someone else’s story. What better way to learn than to walk in another’s shoes?”
And, here are some of the comments about Ollin’s post:
“I really think one of the main reasons for books that address our current climate is that we’re sort of stuck in this MTV-era, where only the trendy material will sell.”
“…though I would say that visual art speaking to specific world topics isn’t as widely seen, I respectfully disagree with the overarching statement that artists are not producing this type of work any more.”
“As the world continues spiraling into the recesses of darkness, more and more artists will come out with a desire to speak the truth even if this costs them. Thank you for firing the first salvo to rally the troops.”
“What I do agree with is that the power to create a catalyst for change is in every artists hands.”
“It has taken me some time to realise that the truth must out, and the risks must be taken, if progress is to be made and we are to see ourselves in mirrors of clear reflection.”
I do hope you’ll go to both posts and read all the comments–Ollin and I respond to the comments–they are conversations.
As a writer, I want to help our ailing World; I need to help in whatever way I can…
There’s a Global Art Project called, Inside Out, that boggles my mind and cheers my heart.
Here’s a video of the originator of that project, explaining his wish to help our World.
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