ARTIVISTS will be a documentary that explores musicians and artists living under oppression, and how they respond using their music, performance, and visual art. Our film begins with Jewish musicians and performing artists from the Jüdische Kulturbund in Nazi Germany and connects their resistance to fascism to current-day artists from around the world.
Starting with the artists of Nazi Germany and connecting their stories of survival to the current generation of artists living around the world under oppression, ARTIVISTS will show how the legacy of radical creation in defiance to persecution is becoming increasingly important and relevant to modern society.
This moment in history is defined by division. The same patterns of systemic oppression that have plagued society throughout history are now combined with the unprecedented ability to amplify information and ideologies, regardless of their verity. Just like in Nazi Germany, modern leaders and governments are using propaganda and untruths to legitimize their position.
Through the work of the artists, ARTIVISTS expose the reality of life under oppression, and inspire empathy and action. This makes them dangerous to those in power, and invaluable to the rest of society.
Empathy is the greatest hope we have for redemption, reconciliation, and healing. ARTIVISTS will give the artists we feature a platform and collective voice to use their art to inspire and to motivate people to make advocate for peace and unity.
The film will transcend time and space by bringing people into the realities of the artists so that they can viscerally experience both the urgency and the empowerment of creating art in the face of oppression. We will feature modern-day artists from around the world and shed light on diverse conflicts and instances of subjugation that many people are not aware are occurring. At the same time, the stories of the ARTIVISTS will show that the personal struggles under these circumstances are universal; grappling with identity; deciding whether to stay and fight or leave to seek safety; and trying to preserve a culture that is being erased.
As documentarians we can educate our audience on conflicts occurring around the world, but it’s the artists that we feature who are creating the windows into the human experience and advocating for people around the world to come together to protect freedom of expression.
Artists around the world are standing up to oppressive regimes through their artistic expression. However, many are isolated in their creative process and are unaware of other artists who are taking the same risks or who have done so in the past, like the members of the Jüdische Kulturbund. As directors, our goal is to provide viewers with an immersive experience of the Artists around the world are standing up to oppressive regimes through their artistic expression. However, many are isolated in their creative process and are unaware of other artists who are taking the same risks or who have done so in the past, like the members of the Jüdische Kulturbund. As directors, our goal is to provide viewers with an immersive experience of the pressure that drives the artists’ creative process in response to the immediacy of their oppression. We want viewers to appreciate the threat they are under for merely freely expressing themselves. Whenever possible, we will use a handheld camera to support a cinema verté experience and allow us to shoot more easily in confined workplaces.
We want the film to be a moving assemblage of voice-overs and on-camera interviews We want the film to be a moving assemblage of voice-overs and on-camera interviews interwoven with contemporary images and archival material of the Jüdische Kulturbund and today’s artists. Identifying the connections between the past and the present, we will show the shared spirit that kulturbund and current-day artists express in their active defiance and courage in pursuit of artistic freedom.