playlist

Powerful art activism

Art that doesn’t just grab your attention, but sends a message, makes a statement and resonates.

  1. 7:14
    Zaria Forman Drawings that show the beauty and fragility of Earth

    Zaria Forman's large-scale compositions of melting glaciers, icebergs floating in glassy water and waves cresting with foam explore moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility. Join her as she discusses the meditative process of artistic creation and the motivation behind her work. "My drawings celebrate the beauty of what we all stand to lose," she says. "I hope they can serve as records of sublime landscapes in flux."

  2. 11:14
    Chris Jordan Turning powerful stats into art

    Artist Chris Jordan shows us an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics — like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day.

  3. 10:49
    Emily Parsons-Lord Art made of the air we breathe

    Emily Parsons-Lord re-creates air from distinct moments in Earth's history — from the clean, fresh-tasting air of the Carboniferous period to the soda-water air of the Great Dying to the heavy, toxic air of the future we're creating. By turning air into art, she invites us to know the invisible world around us. Breathe in the Earth's past and future in this imaginative, trippy talk.

  4. 4:21
    Lee Mokobe A powerful poem about what it feels like to be transgender

    "I was the mystery of an anatomy, a question asked but not answered," says poet Lee Mokobe, a TED Fellow, in this gripping and poetic exploration of identity and transition. It's a thoughtful reflection on bodies, and the meanings poured into them.

  5. 5:03
    LaToya Ruby Frazier A visual history of inequality in industrial America

    For the last 12 years, LaToya Ruby Frazier has photographed friends, neighbors and family in Braddock, Pennsylvania. But though the steel town has lately been hailed as a posterchild of "rustbelt revitalization," Frazier's pictures tell a different story, of the real impact of inequality and environmental toxicity. In this short, powerful talk, the TED Fellow shares a deeply personal glimpse of an often-unseen world.

  6. 12:20
    Kelli Jean Drinkwater Enough with the fear of fat

    In a society obsessed with body image and marked by a fear of fat, Kelli Jean Drinkwater engages in radical body politics through art. She confronts the public's perception of bigger bodies by bringing them into spaces that were once off limits — from fashion runways to the Sydney Festival — and entices all of us to look again and rethink our biases. "Unapologetic fat bodies can blow people's minds," she says.

  7. 12:28
    Thelma Golden How art gives shape to cultural change

    Thelma Golden, curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, talks through three recent shows that explore how art examines and redefines culture. The "post-black" artists she works with are using their art to provoke a new dialogue about race and culture — and about the meaning of art itself.

  8. 18:03
    Emmanuel Jal The music of a war child

    For five years, young Emmanuel Jal fought as a child soldier in the Sudan. Rescued by an aid worker, he's become an international hip-hop star and an activist for kids in war zones. In words and lyrics, he tells the story of his amazing life.

  9. 5:39
    eL Seed Street art with a message of hope and peace

    What does this gorgeous street art say? It's Arabic poetry, inspired by bold graffiti and placed where a message of hope and peace can do the most good. In this quietly passionate talk, artist and TED Fellow eL Seed describes his ambition: to create art so beautiful it needs no translation.