Is individual change more likely to occur in response to a formal lecture or a gripping artistic encounter? And if you want to enhance the transformative power of art, is it better to present it in a staid museum or on a lively street corner?
In India, as in many other parts of the world, the answers to both questions are clear. Art is our most powerful tool for transformation, and it is most effective where it is most easily accessible. Take it to the streets on a Bajaj autorickshaw.
ArtMoves, devised by the Center for Media and Alternative Communication in New Delhi, along with the Art|Global Health Center at UCLA, in California, seeks to increase knowledge, change attitudes, and shift behaviors around the AIDS epidemic by setting up mobile, street-level encounters with activist works of art.
A dress made entirely of condoms, from Brazil. A human body constructed of hanging pill bottles, from the United States. Flip-flops that tell you how to put on a condom, from India. A photographic record of protestors wearing HIV-positive t-shirts, from South Africa. And many more. All these images possess the power to intervene directly in our thought processes, shifting the way we think about the epidemic and, potentially, how we behave.
ArtMoves is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation and by in-kind contributions from Motomex/Bajaj in Mexico.