Just the Facts: Art as Resistance

These are just a few of the artists, be they authors or filmmakers or painters or poets or musicians, who have used their art to resist oppression or oppose war. Some of them suffered or were killed for their art, while others found great fulfillment by aligning their artistic careers with their deeply held beliefs. While this week we try to create a link between art and nonviolent resistance, not every artist on this list may have idealized the nonviolent beliefs of Kumi Now. But we believe there is much to be learned from all these artists:

  • Rim Banna
  • Victor Hugo
  • Fadwa Tuqan
  • Erich Maria Remarque
  • Pete Seeger
  • Edward Said
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Banksy
  • John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  • Dalton Trumbo
  • Mahmoud Darwish
  • Henry David Thoreau
  • Bertha von Suttner
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Naji al-Ali
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Joan Baez
  • Adolfo Perez Esquivel
  • Daniel Barenboim
  • John Berger
  • DAM
  • Ibrahim Tuqan
  • Keorapetse Kgositsile
  • Howard Zinn
  • Naomi Shihab Nye
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Jan Paderewski
  • Arthur Rubinstein

Do you have someone to add? Email us at kumi@kuminow.com and let us know. We’ll add them to this list, and in the future we hope to expand this list into a full article about artists who resist.

Learning More

To learn more you could read “Palestinian cultural resistance: Art in the face of violence” by Hadani Ditmars for the Middle East Institute. And consider watching “How Artists Resist: Palestinian Political Cartoons w/ Sara Qaed, Carlos Latuff, Mohammad Sabaaneh”, hosted by Miko Peled. ​To go deeper, we will be developing an extensive list of Additional Resources at the bottom of this week’s entry as well as a YouTube playlist on the subject.