I'VE ALWAYS had a strong desire to be in creative and artistic environments. A constant urge to create, to paint, to dance, to sing with a frail voice, to write. It has given me a sense of resonance; a form of remembering, and a way to make sense of the world around me.
But in a world that forces us to capitalize everything, even on the things that we love, how can we pursue our truest passions?
Society is troubled with a lot of realities. We live in a system that suppresses us from exploring what we are actually interested in. It is much harder to do that in a society that makes money so much of a factor in our lives. We are forced to capitalize on our passions. We are these stagnant robots. Our identity is very much wrapped up in our work, instead of what actually fulfills us.
Activists and labour leader Luke Espiritu has said, “When you abandon the arts, you become a machine. You become a part of capitalist machinery for production. That's why many times, when you are a worker, you are forced to put aside your artistic inclinations.”
As life unfolds before us, we are forced to tuck our love for art under our bed, hidden underground, and taken away from us only to find it years after, still whole—its face the same since the moment we have put it behind.
It is because as humans, art is innate within us. No matter how much we suppress it, it transcends. We are aching to go out of the world and express ourselves. Art lets us be free people, they say. And as we continue to resist and fight for a more equitable world, art helps us to call for freedom we have been clamoring for decades.
Art is more than just aesthetics; it also has the ability to present important issues ranging from politics and social justice to the everyday, mundane experiences of a human person. It also has the ability to persuade and empower those who get to experience it.
As an artist, we have a duty to reveal the infinite facets of life and to look at the world in ways that other people haven't seen before. We cling to stories, to poems, to art because they give us hope.
It has been a transcendental experience for me scribbling out all my ideas and turning them into stories, making weird objects, drawing silly pictures, singing songs, and dancing freely. More importantly, it has been empowering using my art to talk about the daily struggles of people and to use it as a form of resistance.
As we venture in life, may we continue to create art that inspires people. May we empathize with others. May we freely pursue what we want. Even in times of repression, change and difficulty, this one remains true: our art has power.
Krisella Quinto is a political science student who is passionate about social justice and finds joy in stories that matter. She is a lover of art in all of its forms.
Jottings features short and personal essays. Limit your essay between 300-500 words. Please include a two-sentence bio note and email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 27, 2023
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