The Routledge Companion to Art and Activism in the Twenty-First Century brings together a wide range of geographical, cultural, historical, and conceptual perspectives in a single volume of new essays that facilitate a deeper understanding of the field of art activism as it stands today and as it looks towards the future.

The book is a resource for multiple fields, including art activism, socially engaged art, and contemporary art, that represent the depth and breadth of contemporary activist art worldwide. Contributors highlight predominant lines of inquiry, uncover challenges faced by scholars and practitioners of activist art, and facilitate dialogue that might lead to new directions for research and practice. The editors hope that the volume will incite further conversation and collaboration among the various participants, practitioners, and researchers concerned with the relationship between art and activism.

The audience includes scholars and professors of modern and contemporary art, students in both graduate and upper-level undergraduate programs, as well as artists, curators, and museum professionals. Each chapter can stand on its own, making the companion a flexible resource for students and educators working in art history, museum studies, community practice/socially engaged art, political science, sociology, and ethnic and cultural studies.

chapter |16 pages


Art as Activism, Activism as Art
ByLesley Shipley, Mey-Yen Moriuchi

part Section I|89 pages

Public Space and Protest

chapter 2|12 pages

Aesthetics of Reciprocity

Socially Engaged Art in China and Hong Kong
ByMai Corlin Frederiksen

chapter 4|12 pages

Instructions Within

Art as Liberation Praxis in the Arab World
ByMaymanah Farhat

chapter 5|16 pages

Shattering Glass Ceiling

Art and Activism in Thailand since 2020 1
ByThanavi Chotpradit

chapter 6|15 pages

The 1-to-1 Tactic

Media and Public Mourning through Temporary Tactical Memorials
ByDaniel Tucker

part Section II|80 pages

Gender and Visual Sovereignty

chapter 7|14 pages

Reel/Real Resurgence

Pasifika Women Filmmakers and Media Activism
ByJennifer L. Gauthier

chapter 8|15 pages

The Visual Politics of Queerness on the Navajo Nation

ByLouise Siddons

chapter 9|13 pages

Zeke Peña

Illustrating Chicanx Environmental Justice Histories in the Rio Grande Watershed
ByJennifer Garcia Peacock

chapter 10|17 pages

Reproductive Justice and Visual Activism

ByTamar Carroll

chapter 11|17 pages

Be Otherwise, Thirteen Acts of Resistance


part Section III|82 pages

Racial and Restorative Justice

chapter 13|12 pages

A Series of Transitions

An Interview with Members of What Would an HIV Doula Do?
ByAndy Campbell

chapter 14|14 pages

Abolition Art

Contemporary Imaginings Against the Carceral State
ByRebecca Zorach

chapter 15|15 pages

Let Them Tell It

Black Southern Women's Retrospection Within the Works of Remember 2019
ByArielle Julia Brown

chapter 16|10 pages

La Vivienda Es La Cura

Latinx Art, Politics, and Housing Justice in East Boston
ByAnthony Romero

chapter 17|14 pages

Atomized Solidarity and New Shapes of Resistance

Visual Activism in South Africa after Apartheid
ByKylie Thomas

part Section IV|85 pages

Community Care and Advocacy

chapter 18|13 pages

With a Camera and a Tape Recorder

Through Positive Eyes, the AIDS Pandemic, and the Politics of Identification
ByDavid Gere

chapter 19|14 pages

For Foul-Mouthed Activists

Disobedience as Care Work in African Social Practice Art
ByNomusa Makhubu

chapter 20|15 pages

Activating Vulnerability

On Artivism in Colombia's Precarious Peace Process
ByAna María Reyes

chapter 21|14 pages

A View from the Future

Activist Artists, Writers, and Filmmakers Turn to Science Fiction to Address the Climate Crisis
ByLisa E. Bloom

chapter 22|12 pages

Amplifying Our Voices Through Public Art

ByMichelle Angela Ortiz

chapter 23|14 pages

What's it all About, Alfie? 1

ByZoë Charlton, Tim Doud