Art to me, is interchangeable with journalism. To me, it should act to follow two principles:
To give a voice to the voiceless.
To spread ideas that can help change.
OPTIONAL: To create laughter and happiness and joy, through humor or new awareness or discovery of the beauty that is the human experience, by showing people and helping people get through the suffering that is life. To show that we are all in this together.
For me, in particular, I know that I am in a bubble. And I know sometimes art can literally preach to those already converted. However even this art can plant seeds of ideas in those who don’t expect to have these ideas planted. All of it can be good, as long as it’s honest.
Right now, in particular, the working class in America has lost its voice in the art world. Wages are stagnant, and life has become a struggle. 60 percent of Americans don’t have $600 in emergency funds. So there is no time for the working class to voice their struggles, like never before.
For me, then, it is partially my ethical need to help tell their stories. And hopefully for other artists and filmmakers as well. How many films these days, when they are made, are about working class issues vs about upper middle class issues?
The old adage, “write about what you know” - I don’t know if at this point I agree with this. I think we need to explore areas that we don’t know about. And from here, not feel shame.
With all the shaming and negativity that exists online, it’s important to reach past that, and be motivated by ones own voice. To turn off criticism, turn off whatever one’s point of self-guilt is about privilege, and create using this to ones advantage. If you are upper middle class, then you have the most valuable resource of our era, free time. Something so few people have.