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Can Art defeat Totalitarianism?
Has the political been taken out of science-fiction
"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell
No doubt George Orwell will be turning in his grave as he realises his warning about the dangers of totalitarianism seem to have become a template used by the elite to establish a cruel world order. Where does Art fit in to all this and how can such a flimsy brigade of visionaries, carrying nothing but paint brushes and scissors, defeat such evil?
The traditional means of opposing something is to protest or engage in direct action. But Art has the opportunity to challenge the underlying behavioural patterns that lie beneath the surface of our minds. Art can question the hypocrisy of an elite that insists on serving itself, while it serves up a false narrative of democratic freedom. Colonizing the political scene with its own kind. While protest is a temporary expression holding the same power as its opponent. Art can dissipate that opposing power and turn it into meaningful dialogue that stays. It can change a persons view over time.
"Art is man's challenge to time, his rebuke to chaos; the protest will survive neither the triumph of fire, nor the finality of ice — but it is better than the silence of consent." ~Dr. Idel Dreimer
Yet again the conditions seem ripe. Accusations of elitism are abound in Europe, the UK and America. A great distrust has been aimed at the political elite who seem to go hand in hand with a corporate class far removed from the everyday worker. And with these dangerous lurches towards the right we ask ourselves could it all happen again? While working in Prague as an English Teacher one thing the Czech people emphasized to me about Fascism is that it starts slowly and you can not see it coming.
Once When We Were Human by David Peter Swan addresses these issues about art and defeating totalitarianism. The story looks at how modern societies can unwittingly bring in totalitarian measures while seeking peace, and how these measure can quickly turn a democracy into a Fascist state. It also looks at the atrocities of Nazism during Worked War 2 and asks if it could happen again during modern times. Once When We Were Human is part tribute to Orwell and Huxley. Part warning of what is to come.
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