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Politics, Art and Resistance

Explore what it means to resist in contemporary art and politics.

2,632 enrolled on this course

1000 Gestalten: Protest against the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany, 2017
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Explore how art movements have inspired political activism

What’s the link between art and activism?

This course introduces ideas and practices of resistance, and the relationship between art and politics.

You’ll explore:

  • the socially engaged practices of artists, and how art movements have inspired ordinary people
  • art manifestos, and how to develop your own manifesto
  • how creative practices connect with social and political issues

And you’ll have the chance to contribute an image of resistance to a photo mosaic that will be presented as part of Tate Exchange at Tate Modern.

Image: © Christian Angl, 1000 Gestalten

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds STEFAN ROSSBACH: Hi and welcome. I’m Stefan Rossbach, and I’m here with my colleague Iain MacKenzie. We are from the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. And we would like to invite you to join our short course on ‘Politics, Art, and Resistance’ where will explore the relationship between politics and art.

Skip to 0 minutes and 30 seconds IAIN MACKENZIE: What is the link between art and activism? In particular, what is the link between what we want to call creative practices and practices of resistance? Is there always in some sense a creative element to an effective practice of resistance? These particular questions raise broader and more general questions I would also like to address as part of this course. I suppose at the most fundamental level, what is the nature of resistance itself? What do you think resistance means for you?

Skip to 1 minute and 20 seconds Welcome to level five of the Blavatnik Building of Tate Modern in London. This is the space where you will have an opportunity to display your image of what it means to resist.

Skip to 1 minute and 36 seconds STEFAN ROSSBACH: We would like to invite you to send us an image, a picture, a photograph, that tells us what resistance means to you, what it means to you to resist. And we would like you to be as creative as possible.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds IAIN MACKENZIE: This really is a great opportunity to explore what resistance means for you, but also to take that individual sense of resistance and bring it together into a truly collaborative artwork. Please join us. Join us on this journey into the relationship between politics, art, and resistance. Join us in thinking through the links between art and activism. Register, take part, contribute, and together, we can resist.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is ‘resistance’?
  • The relationship between art and politics
  • Writing to resist: The art of the manifesto
  • Life as a work of art
  • Styles of resistance
  • Resistance and Utopia

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the relationship between creative practices and resistant acts
  • Develop, as an artist, a manifesto
  • Reflect on the role of the artist and the idea of life as a work of art
  • Describe violent and non-violent styles of resistance
  • Explore the concept of Utopia as it relates to art and resistance

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in the artistic practices of resistance, but may be of particular interest to artists or students of art or politics.

Who will you learn with?

Specialist in social & political theory; interested in the ‘spiritual dimension of politics’, including the possibility of a ‘critical knowledge of order’ outside politics and its use within politics.

Co-director of the interdisciplinary Centre for Critical Thought (https://www.kent.ac.uk/cct/); interested in how political thought provides rich critical material for social and political life.

Who developed the course?

The University of Kent

The University of Kent, the UK’s European university, is one of the country’s most dynamic universities. Established in 1965, it now has 19,850 students studying at its various campuses.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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