Manifestos

We travel back in time to week eight. If that joke was not funny then I guess you didn’t read about the lecture on drawing yet. No worries! Our Lecture on manifestos was hosted by Mark Ingram and gave an insight into what an manifesto really is. We understand the purpose of manifestos within the art world and look through history of beliefs, teachings and ideology formed by individuals and organisations. We see how a minority way of thinking and acting can spark a revolution amongst a majority.

In ancient times, principles of life and belief were displayed through imagery. In modern times, these objects are a reminder of a period that history and its connection with the future. The world is subject to many books which develop concious thinking. Some have been under controversial dispute due to different views on humanity. For example, religious books like the ‘Holy Bible’ form a balance of acceptance and rejection. The Declaration of Independence is a piece of paper with great calligraphy. Now we can see this on display, however during the 18th this bit of paper was the signature for the independence of american who fought to no longer a part of the British Empire.

Even this object has come under some controversial dispute due to the transatlantic slave trade and the history of Africans who have been dehumanised by European  from as early as 16th century. From this we can understand how the minorities view on life and how it effects the majorities way of living and thinking due to the power that the minority had.

My Dad gave me a record of many manifestos which have a exciting piece of history behind it. He spoke of Parliment and the different parties, highlighting the manifestos that they stand by. The Black Panthers formed the Ten Point Programme which needed to be conducted before joining the party. Some people even incorporated the ten point programme into other organisations.

Being a former solider, my father mentioned that minority rule or individualism does not exist some private institutions. Which the army cadets having to follow the rules and regulations set by those who run the military. Some would consider a set of rules, warnings and facts to be a manifesto. We use imagery to describe a concept, and we convert it into another object which relates to other images or creates new ones in our minds.

My father is a radio host and every Sunday morning he speaks to thousands of people worldwide . Discussing the cultural,spiritual and political existence of the human race. He describes his show as ‘dealing with the issues that effect us’. He helps others to open doors exploring different aspect of world history. He told me that his vision of life had to expand far greater then it was 20 years ago when he started. He studied Marcus Garvey’s manifesto behind UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association), my father described it as a lost sense of idology ‘brought to back to life’ which was not suited to the majorities norms and values. Garvey’s organisation grew during the early 20th century and his teachings on evolving consciousness and views on colonialism and the condition of Black people in the western society brought  thousands of africans together, breaking societies structure on social class and focusing on race issues.

Some manifestos are considered trademarks for some iconic individuals. Malcolm X posters are riddled with the famous quote ‘By any means necessary’ which was apart of a speech he conducted at Oxford Union in 1964. A moment which highlighted Malcolm’s view on world government not doing enough or nothing at all to benefit the positivity of humanity.  Malcolm’s father was a Garvey follower. Malcolm transformed his life from being a hustler and a prisoner to being one of the most influencial people in the 20th century, if not then of all time.

Martin Luther King Jr’s iconic speech ‘I have a Dream’ is his personal dream of one day seeing the unity of races and ending the disputes of the negativity which consumed America during the Civil Rights Movement. Martin’s plead has been seen around the world and has inspired many other individuals to start organisations based on positivity. Martin died before he could see this dream play out for others. However, seen then his speech has become a reminder of how far we have come as human begins. Our beliefs, teaching and views are based on a foundation which is away from home. Because of what we know we inspire others to generate different but related ideas.

My girlfriend showed me a manifesto written by Joreen Freeman who was the voice for the Woman’s Liberation Movement. The ‘Bitch’ manifesto focuses on the controversy of the term ‘bitch‘ an how it is an organisation which does not yet exist. She focused on three aspects which symbolises the image of the term. The three being personality, appearance and sexual orientation. She expresses how women are oppressed and refers to quotes from philosopher Simone de Beauvoir for example “Man is defined as a human being and woman is defined as female. Whenever she tries to behave as a human being she is accused of trying to emulate the male” We understand the struggle of an entire movement based on a couple sentences. Just like how the term ‘Nigger’ serves the social function of isolating and discrediting the Black Race, The term ‘Bitch‘ isolates and discredits a class of people who do not conform to the socially accepted pattens of behaviour and spiritual think. The way we record history through words becomes so precious that nothing but ideas are formed in our minds.

I’m a spiritual person who has had to get an insight through religion to understand my own origins. You can say that when it comes to the field of humanity,art and religious, the research is endless! This raises questions of our moral fabric. For example, is a ‘retired’ doctor no longer able to help another human medically with his own practise? Or is the degree/certificate/health institutes the only way this man can express the research he studied in his life time. In my design principles class I noticed that I was really writing my own manifesto based on spirituality. The shared idea that everything is connected to everything else. The ideology of one ecosphere for all living organisms and what affects one, affects all. I remember thinking that a person’s state of reality is a reflection of their emotions, lifestyle and the infomation they recieve and give. I make comparisons with the animal kingdom. If we as human are on top of the food chain then the we should understand our purpose. Animals know their purpose in the wild. We relate to animals through their movements and emotions. Under the guidance of their parents/elders they adjust perfectly to their surroundings and adapt the role there parents played.

Just like the animals, we play a role in the reality we live in. We are influenced by our conscious and sub-conscious realities and is displayed through our visions of the future. I have West Indian heritage however I explore significant facts based on life before slavery and ancestral language. The Akan people of West Africa created a symbol called Sankofa. Sankofa represents the conscious and subconscious relationship you have with the world. the bird symbol is often defined as the bond with a mother and a child. it is also a connection with the past and the present. the heart symbol is an image of duality. compared with the chinese symbol; yin-yang & the golden ratio (pi-phi). The symbol of importance of learning from the past. giving thanks to those who came before. the ones who guided, taught and disciplined. evolving the status and well-being of a family.

For those who read about the lecture on drawing, I did say this was going to be a long essay. You can understand how much literature contributes to the art world. Without language how can we truly define what we see and without the knowledge of world history how would we know what part our current artists and researchers are playing.

With all that has been written some would consider this to be a manifesto due to its passionate nature. However some would consider someone’s thoughts on a blog web site to just being typical social networking and communication. Still, I believe that Martin Luther King and others would have used the technology we have now if it were available. If anyone has had that thought then that means we have created a subconscious image based on what we know.

I’am sure the concept of manifestos change as time goes on. In this life we produce books based on how a person should live, eat, think and act. The same as those who ruled Empires on this earth. They expressed they’re own belief and teachings just like we do, however, we revisit the times when a the majority was over ruled. Now we can appreciated the research we need to catch up on.

 

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