At TEDYouth 2011, performance artist Carvens Lissaint shows how to use language, metaphor and imagery to express a powerful idea -- as in this spoken word performance, a stirring plea to make college education more accessible.
Many artists and entertainers use their work to explore social justice. The TED library, for instance, contains some good examples of social activism through visual arts, poetry, music and comedy. These examples include:
Maz Jobrani: Did you hear the one about the Iranian-American? (comedy) http://www.ted.com/talks/maz_jobrani_make_jokes_not_bombs.html
Chris Jordan pictures some shocking stats (visual arts) http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_jordan_pictures_some_shocking_stats.html
Jackson Browne : “If I Could Be Anywhere” (music) http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jackson_browne_if_i_could_be_anywhere.html
Taylor Mali: What teachers make (poetry) http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/taylor_mali_what_teachers_make.html
Choose a social issue that’s important to you and explore artistic treatments of it. Create an exhibit that showcases the pieces you like the best, and share it with friends or family. Which pieces do they find most powerful or provocative?
Carvens Lissaint has racked up a number of awards and honors at poetry slams across the country. Find out more about poetry slams by attending one (see the Slam Map from Poetry Slam, Inc. at http://www.poetryslam.com/ or simply Google “poetry slam” and your city or state). If there are no poetry slams nearby, watch poetry slam videos on YouTube or consider starting one in your area. Get advice from DoSomething.org (http://www.dosomething.org/actnow/actionguide/organize-a-poetry-slam) or Poetry Slam, Inc. (http://www.poetryslam.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=10&Itemid=25#14).