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Title: The Art of Nonviolence
Contributor(s): Branagan, Martin  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2003
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Abstract: Despite much evidence of its effectiveness, nonviolence has not gained widespread recognition by the media (Summy, 2000, pp. 4-S), with the success of campaigns being attributed to their leaders or some ill-defined "people power". Similarly, the arts feature in many nonviolentcampaigns, yet have gained little credence as an effective tool of nonviolence. They are often mentioned in the media; for example, at the 1979 anti-logging protest at Terania Creek, NSW, the Good Weekend reported that '...bead-wearing hippies and rainbow greenies...blocked the road and played flutes, mandolins and drums. They danced, sang, wailed and chanted to the frustrated police and furious loggers wielding chainsaws and still cutting down huge trees' (Hawley, 2003, p. 19). Yet these arts have rarely been studied in depth, particularly with regard to how they accord with nonviolence praxis. Even within protest movements some do not consider the arts "frontline" activism. This view continues a dualistic philosophy which views direct confrontation as being the most effective form of social change. It perpetuates the machismo of patriarchal politics, and the paradigm condoning violence as an acceptable means of conflictresolution. Many feminists have rightly been critical of such a view (Schmah,1998, pp. 31-33).This article argues that the arts are an important part of nonviolence, contributing to campaigns in a myriad of ways. After a literature review, the article briefly explores tenets of nonviolence that relate to artistic activism. It presents an overview of the relationship between these arts and nonviolence, while noting thatmore research is needed. It then describes, from an insider or 'emic' perspective (Kellehear, 1993, p. 21), examples of arts in nonviolent direct actions (NVDAs), particularly within the broad popular movement which advocates peace and environmental protection,characterised as "eco-pax" by Pakulski (1991, pp. IS8160).
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Social Alternatives, 22(3, Third Quarter), p. 50-55
Publisher: Social Alternatives
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-6600
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Publisher/associated links:;dn=200311622;res=APAFT
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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