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The power of art in mobilizing social movements. 2023

Art has played a paramount role not only in documenting and telling the stories of the revolutions and social movements of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), but also in driving people toward change--both regionally and globally. Whether graffiti, music, or spoken word, art has mobilized demographics historically unknown for their political activation. The online space has only underscored this further, providing a platform for the power of art to touch multitudes more and carving out a space for diaspora artists to contribute to this cultural movement. As countries in the MENA region find themselves in consequential moments of transition--be it popular mobilizations or democratic reversals, what role has art played over the last decade, how have artists moved their work online because of reprisals or due to the pandemic, and what role will art continue to play going forward?

The power of art in mobilizing social movements