The question of the subject is one of the most difficult ones for people who are not used to artistic creation and who find themselves in art mediation workshops – be it by choice or coincidence. The invitation to decide what an art work should be about often implies too large a freedom. Facing the unlimited options, people often resort to simple choices, based on copying another artwork or an artist they admire.
Clearly, in some artivist initiatives the subject precedes the desire to create an art work: first there is an anger, and indignation upon an oppression or an injustice that triggers the desire to do something about it. In this case the subject matter imposes itself with an easy evidence.
But in our artivist project we invited young people to start to work with us even before we knew what they were concerned about. In fact, our invitation to work with us had the somewhat hidden agenda to actually help them reflect on what they do and do not like in the society around them, and identify for the sake of the artistic work what they would really like to change in society. Hence we needed ways to bring to the surface their concerns, indignations and angers. We needed to identify these subject matters in co-constructive, horizontal ways to avoid us forcing and agenda that seems importance for us, but not for them.
The activities we present in this section show different strategies that can be used for this purpose: identifying issues that matter through a variety of art forms, but always in cooperation and through an invitation to contemplate our immediate surroundings and our place within.