A tide of change is sweeping across the globe — from immigration to the rise in nationalism — socio-political landscapes are increasingly subject to crisis. Unparalleled events such as Brexit, the #MeToo movement and the Yellow Vest Protests in Paris have elicited an unprecedented response as activists and community groups mobilise.
Digital and media art has, from its inception, had close ties to political and social activism. NEoN Digital Arts Festival’s theme this year, ‘REACT’, will bring together emerging and established digital artists, activists and community groups.
This year we will ask; What role digital art can play in our political systems? How can digital arts activism engage people in socio-political issues? How do we protest differently in a digital age?
In the past few years digital technology and new platforms, many realised by artists, have encouraged greater social and political engagement, enhancing and expanding opportunities for citizens to directly participate in civil society activism. Artists are often driven by a need for new ways to connect, and to share views on the world with one another. Now more than ever, we need to learn from the ways artists use digital technology to better understand how to engage with and react against the world around us.