I shall start by sharing a real example from a now ex job. For 3 years I walked into County Hall and looked at an Art Competition for the Youth of the County. Every year I was progressively more worried at the calls for help portrayed in this artwork - mentions of online bullying, suicidal feelings - the actual colours and materials used in the works depicted sadness, bad times and desolation.
Meanwhile in another room in the same building, somewhere, a Questionnaire for all the Youth of the County was being commissioned for the third year running - because that is what the Members (local politicians) and Senior Leadership team wanted. The results of this very expensive questionnaire were quite frankly, bullshit. I could tell you more about the state of mental health, isolation and desolation of the youth from those walls in County Hall.
Yet, which evidence was valid and valued? Which evidence tells the truth?
In the UK, Greece, Italy, United States, Australia, Brazil, we are seeing those in power exploiting their positions to force through Agendas which don’t just lack values, but are Harmful and Illegal.
With my legal hat on, I can say that those of us who want to save Mother Earth need to better present our case (building on the incredible work of Polly Higgins).
With my social scientist hat on, I can say that to do this we need evidence that comes from a culturally inclusive and representative process.
With my musician’s hat on, I can tell you that what I play tells my story.
So my question is : why is artistic creation and expression deemed less valuable in our current Democratic systems? What if we consider what the Real Problem is :
that our existing government systems have been set up so there is a Hierarchy of Evidence?
that our existing government systems have been set up so there is a Hierarchy of Expression?
If this is true - and I believe it is - we need to create an alternative system of evidence that values all forms of expression. That is Not Built on Hierarchy, but rather on Equity. Where there are equitable opportunities for Participation and Expression. This requires our democratic systems to reevaluate what constitutes valid evidence. This requires artistic and creative expression to have equal value with traditional forms of evidence and data that have currently been powering our (un) democratic systems.
If we do not - or if is not possible to - adapt our existing government systems to make the case for actual and genuine change, then an anarchist society - beyond government - arguably becomes a viable option, tried and tested and currently being crushed in Exarcheia, Athens. Because without the dismantling of these hierarchies, the current Government systems are set up to fail us, the people. But, as Martin Luther King said, we must never lose infinite HOPE.