A coalition of more than 200 artists, musicians, writers and art professionals from 40 countries have pledged support to a new global art project, Hands Off Our Revolution, which aims to confront the rise of right wing populism in the US, Europe and elsewhere.

The project will see artists involved in a series of exhibitions and events around the world. These will take place in art institutions and alternative spaces, and aim to encourage people to reflect more profoundly on the world in which they want to live.

Hands Off Our Revolution launched with an animated gif by artist Mark Titchner, who said: “NO to the society that demands we all be alike. NO to the coercion to consume and conform. NO to the poisoned world that drives its people to flee into introspection and solitude. NO to the dislocation, depression and anger this breeds.

“Art is for empathy. Art is for loving your brothers and your sisters and yourself. Art is for a chance to live.”

Art affirms our humanity

Other UK-based artists supporting the project include Artes Mundi 7 winner John Akomfrah, Fiona Banner, Tacita Dean, Isaac Julien, Anish Kapoor, Steve McQueen, Cornelia Parker, Mark Wallinger and Richard Wentworth. Gallery directors Frances Morris (Tate Modern) and Iwona Blazwick (Whitechapel Art Gallery) have also given their support.

In his support statement, Kapoor said: “We artists are united in our mission to counter small minded prejudice. Our art affirms our humanity and we insist on inclusion of all and for all.

“We call for action by people of good conscience to stand against the abhorrent policies of the governments that claim to represent us.”

Blazwick used her support statement to explain her belief that culture could fill the void left by disappearing industry and manufacturing.

She said: “Economies and communities once flourished around jobs in industry, manufacturing and agriculture, jobs that are disappearing with no alternative in sight.

“Yet I have not heard a single politician put forward a credible strategy for devising inclusive, rewarding and sustainable forms of work. Which is why culture must step in.”

The first exhibition will be announced in March. See the full list of Hands Off Our Revolution contributors at www.handsoffourrevolution.com

Image and gif:
Mark Titchner, HANDS OFF. Courtesy: the artist and Vilma Gold

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