11 and 12 June 2019
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto
Art or the arts have never been innocuous in relation to their time. Reflex of the reality or heralds of change, the arts express in striking and forward movements of the social reality in which they fit. Throughout history, there are several examples of artistic movements and artists that have created articulations between aesthetic production, political combat and social change. The dimension of creativity and art as fields of social and political expression are increasingly important as focal points of critical thinking, resistance, antagonism and alternative to the traditional political system and what it represents. In a moment that extremisms are expanding and the political system is the subject of widespread mistrust, new voices and grammars of political, technological, environmental, spiritual, human rights, gender equality, and others arise.
In different geographic, social and cultural contexts, we see an increasing dynamism coming from minority, alternative, subalternized or stigmatized social sectors, searching for a greater visibility and participation in the public sphere. Music, street art, performance, body, photography, plastic arts, net art and other digital arts are among many other resources and languages used creatively for citizen participation.
Intertwining art and activism establishes itself as an indelible expression of citizenship and participation in the public sphere, not only for the genuineness of creation and the artistic act, but also for the ability to bring new issues to the public agenda, creating others and brand new discourses in the field of politics. Born from this intersection, artivism arises (and revolts itself) as a form and means of contestation of the social reality – as a whole – and of the field of art itself, once reified beyond orthodoxy and institutionalization. The COMbART conference aims precisely to potentialize reflection on these “Combat Arts”, on the contemporary articulations between art, artistic activism and political participation, promoting the sharing and debate on the most diverse aesthetic, cultural and artistic manifestations.
The international conference COMBART: Art, activism and citizenship is the result of a consortium made up of different entities, institutions and academic associations, in order to bring different perspectives and experiences on the subject. The organization involves the Sociology Institute of the University of Porto, the CICSNova of the New University of Lisbon, the Luso-Brazilian All-Arts Network (TAA), the Luso-Brazilian Research Network in Arts and Urban Interventions (RAIU) and the Electronic Music and Media Arts Observatory (ObEMMA – Digital CIC).