Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

Activism that changes the world / Un militantisme qui change le monde

2017 . 05 . 22 - Comments / Commentaires (6)

It’s not about marching in the streets.

Ça n’a rien a voir avec les manifestations.

This painting is part of Empathetic Magic, which opens on June 10th at the MT Burton Gallery in New Jersey! For more about Jean Russell, my friend who made the link between activism and grief, visit her website.

Ce tableau fait partie de La magie empathique, qui commence le 10 juin à la MT Burton Gallery dans le New Jersey. Pour en savoir plus sur Jean Russell, l’amie qui a eu l’idée que le militantisme est une sorte de deuil, allez voir son site.


Gwenn Seemel
The activist (Evelyn standing out) / Le militant (Evelyn qui se vante)
acrylic on bird’s eye piqué / acrylique sur coton piqué
18 inches in diameter / 46 centimètres de diamètre
(detail below / détail plus bas)


The artichoke words are tolerance, identity, multicultural, inclusivity, affirmative action, intersectionality, diversity, and empathy. The dandelion words are fundamentalism, anti-PC, systemic racism, microaggressions, fear, troll, nationalism, birth certificate, MAGA (or “Make America Great Again”), and 45 (because Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States).

Les mots dans les artichauts sont tolérance, identité, multiculturelle, inclusion, discrimination positive, intersectionnalité, diversité, et empathie. Les mots dans les pissenlits sont fondamentalisme, contre le politiquement correct, racisme systémique, micro-aggressions, peur, troll, nationalisme, acte de naissance (parce que certains américains ne croient pas que Barack Obama est né aux USA), MAGA (ou “Make America Great Again” qui est le slogan de Donald Trump) et 45 (parce que Trump est le 45ème président des États-Unis) .

- You make a difference.
- Art as propaganda
- My heart is full of rainbows.

- Respect is not a scarce resource. / Le respect n’est pas une ressource rare.
- Stopping racist or sexist behavior / Arrêter les comportements racistes ou sexistes
- Being a partner / Être partenaire

CATEGORIES: - English - Français - TOP POSTS - Empathetic Magic - Feminism - Philosophy - Portraiture - Process images - Video -

Gwenn Seemel on Liberapay     Gwenn Seemel on Patreon

(6) Comments / Commentaires: Activism that changes the world / Un militantisme qui change le monde

-- Libby Fife -- 2017 . 05 . 22 --


It’s a good metaphor, the weeds and the plants. And I am always amazed to see how you work. Watching the painting progress is like watching an intricate process. It’s good to be able to see that so thank you.

Big moves, like marching and appearing at rallies are important-“macro” moves. But I believe too that “micro” moves are just as important. What can a person do on the individual level, every day? Even if it is slowly adjusting their own thinking through education and experience, I still think those little “micro” moves go a long way.

The series is sure looking great! Can’t wait to see everything altogether. (I bet you will post some photos!)

--- -- - --- - ---- - ---- - --- - -- ---

-- lee ozanne -- 2017 . 05 . 22 --

Wow!  Many artists are and were ‘social activists.’  But you are a social activist who uses her art to express your ideas.  We are lucky that someone with your beautiful points of view is such a wonderful artist and that you use your art to say those things and that you actually use video to explain your views and how your art shows what you mean.
  We are so lucky you care and share so much!  Thanks—- merci.

--- -- - --- - ---- - ---- - --- - -- ---

-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 05 . 24 --

@Libby: Macro and micro go together, but for really shifting an individual’s perspective I think it has to be the micro approach. Marches and organizing are good for letting public servants see when they’ve gone off course, but not for changing individuals’ minds. That’s how I see it, but maybe you have a different experience with the “take to the streets” kind of protesting? I’m open to hearing about it!

@Lee: I am lucky to have people like you encouraging me! THANK YOU.

--- -- - --- - ---- - ---- - --- - -- ---

-- Libby Fife -- 2017 . 05 . 24 --


No, I am right there with you concerning the micro moves. It’s much more in keeping with my personality and in general, much more effective, in my opinion. I’d rather learn about why a person thinks something or why they chose a particular descriptor, not so that I can necessarily change their mind but to have a conversation if at all possible. I am not in to convincing people of things but just want to know. It’s part of my “micro” agenda:):):)


--- -- - --- - ---- - ---- - --- - -- ---

-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 05 . 24 --

@Libby: So I’m going to argue the macro side now, because you made me think about it more. smile I remember the first time I marched. It was in France in 2002 when a neo-Nazi was poised to be elected president. (He was the father of the one who almost got elected last month.) I marched in Paris to protest him and I’d never been in such a large group of people who were standing up for how they wanted the world to be. It certainly had an impact on me emotionally and intellectually, and it’s possible that it led me to be more outspoken…

--- -- - --- - ---- - ---- - --- - -- ---

-- Libby Fife -- 2017 . 05 . 24 --


I sure can see the appeal and power of marching in a group like that. And definitely a benefit if it shaped your thinking. Groups are interesting to me-the psychology of them. I know that large gatherings are powerful on many levels (some good, some bad). Thank goodness there are so many ways to engage in tikkun olam, repair of the world. It’s one of my favorite concepts and I think it really describes nicely what you have gotten at in your post.

Always nice to have the back and forth with you. Thank you!

--- -- - --- - ---- - ---- - --- - -- ---

Add a comment / Ajouter un commentaire

Name / Votre nom:

Email / Votre e-mail:

(Visible only to Gwenn / Visible uniquement pour Gwenn)

URL / Votre URL:

(Optional / Facultatif)

Comment / Commentaire:

(You can use / Vous pouvez utiliser: < a >, < b >, < i >)

 Remember me for next time. / Retenez mes coordonnées.

 Email me new comments. / Abonnez-moi au fil de discussion.

Please enter the characters you see below / Veuillez rédiger le mot que vous voyez ci-dessous: