The book introduces a variety of artists who are advocating political and social reform on a local or a global scale. Some are influenced by the traditions of Agitprop and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and work with posters, urban interventions, or graphic design. Others prefer established art forms such as painting, sculpture, or performance. The personalities and approaches of the featured artists are as diverse as their subject matter the artists goals, techniques, and degrees of radicalness depend on the cultures to which they belong as well as the social and political circles in which they move. Some of the younger artists featured in the book are fighting against poverty and for women s rights. Others are working to rebuild Haitian communities in the wake of that country s devastating earthquake. Still others are using mass communication to criticize transnational oil companies. While Latin American artists are expressing their powerlessness in the face of totalitarian governments, Chinese artists are commenting on the radical changes taking place in their country, calling for human rights and freedom, and an end to cronyism and environmental destruction. The book examines the interplay between the forms of protest used by environmental and civil rights activists and the techniques used by artists, which are of interest since both groups often address the same topics. It looks at how art and the media are not only reflecting a political agenda, but also how they are influencing political reaction.
Consequently, Art & Agenda is not only an insightful documentation of current artwork, but also points to future forms of political discourse and decision-making.