Resource Title

Arts Activism Toolkit: disruption, disobedience and creativity


This toolkit brings together case studies of innovative arts activism practice from the global South, activities to develop one’s own art activism, and different ways to think about why creativity, the arts, and social justice can work together.

Resource Details


Arts activism can provide a ‘free space’ for developing ideas and practices that challenge dominant ideas and stories. It can ensure that protest actions not only gain public attention but are also framed so that oppositional ideas and solutions are given ‘air-time’ in the media. Anyone can create banners, signs, costumes, gifs, photos, films made on one’s phone in order to communicate to wider audiences such as the general public or the media. We aim to offer activities, discussion points and practical ways for you to get creative with your activist endeavours.

This Arts Activism Toolkit can be used to stimulate thinking, reframe dominant stories and issues, understand the places in which you live and work and build creative relationships and practices across campaigns.

We believe that there is a need for us to engage with our oppressions, and work to understand what stories have been told that have shaped our existence; but then, in order to move beyond just naming injustice, we need to imagine a world yet-to-come.

It contains 13 workshop activities, 8 case studies and discussion tasks in order to share some of what has inspired the authors in their own campaigns and education endeavours across the globe.

Case studies included:

  • Clown Army, U.K.
  • The ‘Squares’ movements
  • Land Occupation in Bangladesh and Brazil
  • Climate Camps in Europe
  • Climate Games, Paris, France
  • Wadzanayi Farm, Zimbabwe
  • 6 million+ Charitable Trust
  • Flash Mobs for indigenous rights Canada

#ImaginingOtherwise is a collaborative project between Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education and
project partners BottomUp based in Cape Town. Both organisations have a focus on education and
development from a radical, grassroots perspective. #ImaginingOtherwise is one of the projects related to Changing the Story – a 4 year action research project in 12 different countries. The Cape Town team works collaboratively to engage young people in arts education activities, with a specific focus on arts activism.