Changing culture changes our world.
Whether we are aware of it or not, the stories, words, sounds, and images
we encounter on a daily basis shape our hearts and minds.
Think about it.
What was the first movie you saw as a child? The Little Mermaid, for instance.
What stories did that movie tell you about love? About your body? About family?
About success? About right and wrong?
The music, the lyrics, the pictures leave imprints.
Our imaginations begin to be sculpted, whether we are conscious of this or not.
Who is making these words and images and sounds?
Who is telling the story? Who decides where this story goes once it is made?
The thing is, while these movies, songs, graphics, ad
campaigns, books, and more make their way into our personal lives,
they also shape and are shaped by our political landscape.
The personal is always political.
Culture is always political... and emotional. That, in part, is why it is so powerful.
Cultural production is also collective. We inherit cultural protocol and practice through ancestry, through community, chosen and not. Assessing cultural production from any given place and time - from Filipino wayfinding to Czech crystal-making to Netflix binge-watching on your couch - gives us clues about the conditions of our lives and communities.
And, cultural production is fluid. It's not bound by a static force.
We can make culture together and we can change it together.
That is why We Rise calls ourselves cultural producers.
We know our bodies, imaginations, intellects, and souls respond to the beauty and the violence that surround us. We can't be bystanders in this process. As philosopher and political scholar Howard Zinn says, "You can't be neutral on a moving train."
And so, we create.
For more on cultural production,
please check out this document by The Culture Group called Making Waves.