In the fall of 2014, hundreds of high school students in Jefferson County, Colorado, walked out of class to protest their newly elected conservative school board’s proposed curriculum-review committee calling for the promotion of “positive aspects” of the United States and its heritage and the avoidance of material encouraging “civil disorder, social strife or disregard […]

Donald Trump’s election has elicited resistance marked by activism and political opposition spanning the entire partisan spectrum, from all corners of the world, expressed by a multitude of media. Perhaps most interestingly, resistance has cropped up through music. Numerous artists of all genres have released songs since November that have implicitly or explicitly expressed opposition to the Trump administration.Indie […]

Starting in November 2017, the Tate Modern in London will host an exhibit called Red Star Over Russia, and will display artwork made by Russian and Soviet artists between 1905 and 1953. The art includes propaganda posters, Socialist realist paintings, and photographs by renowned artists of the time. Each work of art is accompanied by […]

President Donald Trump, before and since his inauguration, has repeatedly condemned artists and journalists, describing the cast of Hamilton as “overrated,” and attempting to discredit so-called “fake news.” President Trump’s behavior has left many worried given the lack of respect he’s shown towards artists and their right to offer legitimate alternate perspectives to powerful politicians. […]

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen….” So begins George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, originally published in 1949. In 2017, nearly 70 years after being written, the novel has resurged to the top of several bestseller lists. Set in Oceania, a totalitarian police superstate controlled and heavily surveilled by […]

Early last year, the South Korean government blared K-pop – Korean pop music – across its border with North Korea in what seemed to be a playful, almost mocking gesture. Amidst a tense, perennial standoff, songs such as “Just Let Us Love” by Apink and “Bang Bang Bang” by Big Bang blasted into the northern […]

In a notable scene from Straight Outta Compton, members of the hip-hop group N.W.A. sat at a press conference, answering questions from a coterie of white male journalists bewildered at the emergence of “gangsta” rap. To explain their rapid elevation into fame, MC Ren (Aldis Hodge) asserts, “We give the people a voice,” while Ice Cube […]

If the Nobel Prize in Literature was established to celebrate words that empower, then the Swedish Academy’s selection of Bob Dylan is long overdue. In the past fifty years, one would be hard pressed to find an individual — presidents and popes included — whose words have had a more profound societal impact than Dylan. With the scratchy spin of the vinyl and the crackling of the radio, he disseminated […]

Last week, the International Criminal Court found Islamic militant Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi guilty of war crimes and sentenced him to nine years in prison. Al-Mahdi now joins the ranks of Jean-Pierre Bemba, Germain Katanga, and Thomas Lubanga Dyilo as one of the only people to be convicted by the International Criminal Court since its inception […]