After watching a documentary on Greenwich Village, a couple of things I picked up were the same things my 90 year old mother told me for years. “There is nothing new”.
As we grew as a country through the fifties, sixties and and early seventies, we had a a group of artists looking for change. They found it in the village. They could be who they were even if they didn’t know what that was.
They spoke out and challenged authority. They knew that change needed to happen and fought with their words, music and visual expression, made for what they believed in. The art wasn’t nessesarily good, but they used it to express what they felt and it worked for the times, at the time.
Some of the art survived. Some didn’t. Topical work is risky, but serves a purpose at the time.
I do know one thing, that my mom didn’t factor in social media. Imagine the outrage and debate when the NYC police banned Sunday singing in the fountain in the village. It would have changed things much faster.
These people brought change, much like the changes going on today. Social activism is a huge force in letting people use not only art but using their ” social voice” to create change.
Although my mother was correct in her statement, the true meaning of her passage, as I grow older, is clearer. Don’t forget the past. We as artist, activist and just people with passion can change the world with a song, and painting or a photograph. Don’t think your voice doesn’t matter.
There won’t be anotherVillagee like in New York. But there will always be the idea that will plant itself in our souls. We should just look to the recent past for motivation.
And when we are old and gray, remember that our children will be looking at us and what we did to instigate change. Don’t let them down.