Why Art is Better at Giving Today's News

Nowadays, it seems that whenever we turn on the TV or go on our phones, we come in contact with today’s news. Let’s be honest, it’s rarely something we want to see. With our mind-boggling political system, the constant worry of natural disasters and everyday social issues, it’s easy to dread checking our news notifications. News media express all of these issues with society and tragic events in a way that can sometimes bring dread and fear alongside our everyday worries.  

The arts try to encapsulate today’s reality but in a completely different way. Many different artists use today’s corrupt and seemingly treacherous world as their muse.We have artists who paint pictures that portray the world around us, photographers who take photos of people in distress, choreographers that raise awareness of mental illness through dance, and articles written about peoples’ specific experiences in today’s world. The arts don’t shy away from reality but bring another perspective to today’s issues. People who do not understand mental illness or the complications of being an immigrant can turn to these artistic outlets to gain a greater understanding.

The illustrator duo Tomer Hanuka and Asaf Hanuka use their art to raise awareness of issues with modern society. Their art portrays political issues and general societal problems. Below is a one of their pieces entitled “Likeoholic.” It portrays society’s addiction to social media and “liking” the lives of others online. The portrayal is dark but encapsulates this type of addiction and how it really affects people’s daily lives.

Image via Blaze Press

Jerome Sessini is one photographer who uses his photography to express the true horrors of addiction in today’s society. In an article published by Magnum Photos, Sessini focuses in on the opioid addiction in Kensington, PA. With such a drastic amount of deaths caused by opiates, it isn’t a surprise that this issue attracts a lot of attention. Sessini takes photos that not only try to depict the reality of addiction but also provides context and backstory. This area of Philadelphia has essentially turned into a ghost town because of the amount of people who are dealing with opiate addiction and Sessini lets us see it all through a personal lens.  

Image via Magnum Photos​

In addition to photographers and illustrators, choreographers try to bring their views on social issues to the public’s attention. The dance scene has become more mainstream and continues to do so with the expansion of the web and social media. Today, you see dancers everywhere : television, the internet, at different tourist attractions, concerts and a multitude of other places.

Janelle Ginestra is one choreographer who uses her platform to inform others of the pain of mental illness. In one of her recent Youtube videos, she choreographed and performed a piece to Phantogram’s ‘Cruel World.’ Towards the end of the video, she expressed that her choreography was meant to bring to life the constant struggles that people who have depression deal with. Different moves symbolize different aspects of reality and serve to give the audience a deeper understanding of depression.

It’s hard to truly know about everything going on in the world. This is one reason why blogging is truly helpful. Not only can we get a glimpse into the lives of people around the world but we can also learn more about the people around us. Blogs have taken a bunch of different forms: videos, articles, and apps. We’ve managed to stream a huge percentage of the globe online and it’s created a really interesting understanding of the world around us.

The blog Natakallam publishes articles that focus in on the refugee crisis. Lydia Bassaly, head of recruitment and translation/interpretation services visited the Ritsona Refugee Camp in Greece and gave a personal report on what she saw. Throughout her visit, “[she] learned that children 12 and older weren’t able to attend school.” Although the refugee crisis has been a prevalent issue for the past eight years, it’s beneficial to learn about everything that the media chooses not to cover.

There are many blogs that cover different types of issues and while some are personal, others try to help society in other ways. Although many people understand the concern with the environment, a lot of people do not know exactly what’s going on. Blogs like Grist, inform everyone on exactly what’s up with the climate and environment. Instead of just raising concern, blogs like these serve to try and educate everyone so that we can find a solution.

Last but not least comes poetry. Poetry is expressed in a multitude of different forms like in different genres of music, spoken word, and through musicals just to name a few. There are very many different poems that cover many different topics that are worth checking out.

News comes in a multitude of different forms and art helps to relay the messages in ways that news outlets cannot. In a world like ours, it’s important to stay educated. We are constantly experiencing new challenges and without being educated and exposed to different perspectives, it’s tough to truly understand what is going on and how we can help.