The work of the modern age is about the restoration of humanity in our selves and our communities. This first occurs through shifting the nature of our language and how we speak and listen to each other. This is the medium through which a more positive future is created or denied. A shorthand way of expressing this is that if you want to change a culture, or an institution, or a life, simply change the conversation about that culture, institution, or life.
Changing the conversation means that we seek a new narrative, a different story to tell about ourselves and the world around us. Most healing and therapy is the attempt to re-remember the past in a more forgiving way. The healing or restoration begins the moment we accept that the existing narrative or story is really just fiction, we constructed it; it is not the fact we consider it to be.
......Peter Block, 2009
Artists, in a sense, are the antibodies of the cultural bloodstream. They sense trouble early, and rally to isolate and expose and defeat it, to bring to bear the human power for love and beauty and meaning against the worst results of carelessness and greed and stupidity. So when art both of great worth, and in great quantities, begins to cluster around an issue, it means that civilization has identified it finally as a threat. Artists and scientists perform this function most reliably; politicians are a lagging indicator.
But once a threat has been identified, the attack has to be at least a little organized. Which is why I’m so pleased that many artists are not just doing their own thing, but also increasingly figuring out how to come together to make the sum of their voices louder than the individual parts.
.....Bill McKibben, 2009