Artistic expression has an undisputed place in contemporary social activism. Understood in the broadest sense to include music and street theatre as well as all forms of visual representation. There is a long, perhaps even ancient history of wall writing and what we would today call street art and graffiti used as means to express discontent and catch public attention.
George Orwell was successful in his attempt to make political writing an art; his famous satires on totalitarianism; his search for objectivity and honesty in journalism. “What was unique about Orwell was that he hated fascism, but also stood apart from the official Stalinist-dominated left of his time." Mick Hume
In the face of meaningless and indifference it is still possible to be engaged in the world:
Looking up at the stars, I know quite well
That, for all they care, I can go to hell,
But on earth indifference is the least
We have to dread from man or beast.
How should we like it were stars to burn
With a passion for us we could not return?
If equal affection cannot be,
Let the more loving one be me.
U.C. Berkeley philosophy professor Hubert Dreyfus discusses the importance of Merleau-Ponty's renowned focus on the "body" to "grip" reality's "gestalt" for "skillful coping" ... for Merleau-Ponty it is the physical body with its "skills" that allow us to "relate to things" and others via "intercorporeality" which is deemed "magical" ... the body is always "geared" toward the world...
The term ‘intercorporeality’ simultaneously foregrounds the social nature of the body and the bodily nature of social relationships. As a concept, it emphasizes the role of social interactions in the construction and behaviours of the body: ‘the experience of being embodied is never a private affair, but is always mediated by our continual interactions with other human and nonhuman bodies’ (Weiss, 1999, p. 5). At the same time, it suggests that our existence in relation to others – our intersubjectivity – is something tangible and bodily (Csordas, 2008).
Cafe Philosophy News
The next issue of Cafe Philosophy: on the topic of Existentialism, will be released toward the end of the week.