A fight against some of the most

A wide range of social movements that seek to
raise a sense of awareness, have been immensely increasing to fight against
some of the most prominent issues in the society such as gender inequalities,
racism and homosexuality and many others. The book When We Fight We Win by Greg Jobin-Leeds, shows how art and
writing are used by activists and artists to push for social and political change in social movements, such as the black lives matter movement that protest
police brutality against African Americans. Nato Thompson’s book, Culture as Weapon demonstrates that
there is a significant difference between artistes and marketers in the image
of doing good and helping the society. The arguments presented in the two books
demonstrate that arts and writings support and promote social movements to resolve
some of the social issues, that they are used to influence people’s thoughts by
appealing to their emotions and that social movements are being utilized by
marketers to benefit from them.

First of all, in Jobin-Leeds’ book, the black lives matter movement gained its popularity across
the country through writing and art used by activists and artists. The movement
challenges the criminal
justice system which is considered to be biased against the African Americans,
where white police officers were acquitted from shooting and killing of unarmed
African Americans such as Tryvon Martin. Following this horrific incident, an
artist by the name Ricardo Levins-Morales creates an influential image of a
black boy wearing a hoodie written on it a powerful quote by Ella Baker, civil
rights leader which is “Until the killing of black mother’s son becomes as
important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son. We
who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens” (57). Further, the most horrific videos posted on social media gained
national attention, showing the death of innocent unarmed black men such as
Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray and many others (Thompson 95).  Freedom Harvest’s artists’ image of a Dandelion reflect how Black people
are being persecuted and targeted (Jobin-Leeds 59). In addition to the
use of images, activists use some touching anecdotes of victims who endured
injustices, by revealing their personal stories and experiences to the public. In this regard, the art of using
a poster or a video and the art of communicating and expressing one’s beliefs is
a vivid demonstration of how art and writing can influence people to
acknowledge a social issue and thus, fight harder for a better society.

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Second of all, in his
perspective, Thompson shows how art and activism could be manipulated to
influence people’ ways of thinking by appealing to their inner emotions and
beliefs. Thompson uses the example of one of the most influential
philanthropist figures in the world, that of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. It is
evident that her actions and works appeal to people’s emotions with regard to
how she uses her kind heart to provide soup to whom she calls “poorest of the poor”
(156). Images of this simple compassionate gesture serve to remind people that
there is a hope about humanity. Further, with the images by Gran
Fury in 1989 of 2 people of same-sex and different race kissing were used to
assuage the issue of homosexuality and to encourage acceptance of love (93). Art
could also be used to influence people’ thoughts by targeting their fear.
Thompson incorporates Riefenstahl’s discussion of her infamous success in the
film, Triumph of the Will, which
outlines the Nazi propaganda that intended to deceive the world by showing the
power of the Nazis (49-50). Either for good or bad purposes, art could be used
as a tool to influence people’s actions and thoughts using their deep-rooted
emotions and to pushes them to recognize a social issue or to fight against
one.

Third of all, Thompson argues that despite the
fact that social movements are founded on the goal of bringing a change into
the world, they are somehow being used by marketers for the purpose of manipulating
consumers by shaping their brands’ reputations as “socially good”.  He outlines how during the month
of October; people are constantly bombarded by the color pink since it’s the
breast cancer awareness month. M’s, NFL and Campbell’s soup and many
other organizations market their products by temporarily changing their colors
into pink. Thompson argues that these so-called “socially good companies’ are
just for show since their main objective is to attract broader consumers, thus
to profit.  In fact, Campbell’s
distribution doubled during the pink month (158-159). Furthermore, he outlines
the contradictions of the companies by mentioning how GAP follows the same
principle by donating to HIV/AIDS campaign in Africa but somehow still operate
its business by using sweatshops (171-172). The cause-related marketing
strategies degrade the fundamental values of charity since companies are
profiting out of an act that is supposed to be done freely with no expectation
of anything in return.

 In
conclusion, When We Fight We Win by
Greg Jobin-Leeds and Culture as Weapon by Nato Thompson, show
how art and writing strengthen social movements that are led by motivated
artists and activists which tend to transform about society by resolving some
the worst social issues that a society is facing. They also show how art and
activism could be utilized to change people by challenging their inner feelings
and thoughts. Also, the books demonstrate how in the name of philanthropy,
lucrative organizations are profiting from these social movements by attracting
a larger number of costumers.