Over the last few years, a rising trend in the global pop market has been the idea to voice dissent through art on social media. Freedom of expression through art has not only been rightfully critical of established institutions but very aesthetically so, too. Presently, Instagram has become a hotspot of creativity that experiences an amalgamation of cultures, content and campaigns.
Instagram, which has one billion monthly active users (as of the 2020 report of Ad Espresso), is a broadly accepted space that is evolving multi-dimensionally. Numerous artists use it to voice their opinions, interact and disseminate information and expression that would be rather inconvenient for traditional media.
Orijit Sen, Indian Graphic Artist, Novelist and Designer, asserts, “My art is my way of expressing my views on something that I just perceived. Social media gives me more freedom; I am not under a strict deadline or the obligation of an Editor or Censorship, which sometimes happens when I am doing a commissioned work for a newspaper or journal, especially as a Political Cartoonist.”
He adds, “Dissemination of a message that I want to put across is my starting point when it comes to creating something. It is not a systematic process, an idea can strike anytime and I work upon it to present it to a heterogeneous audience with whom I can interact more intimately through social media.”
The rising cases of sporadic censorship in Indian media has brought it down to 142 in the World Press Freedom Index among 180 countries. Simultaneously, social media has become more informed and has well-articulated “posts” that have the capacity to question power structures in the most affirmative way possible.
There have been major trending hashtags like “#metoo” and “#Icantbreathe” that garnered global solidarity. The empathy for any issue that flows in from around the globe through poetry, music, paintings is firm yet kind, assertive yet non-violent.
“Art has the courage to call a spade, a spade and if an artwork can change the thought process of even one mind, you can say the artwork has become immortal,” opines Aniket Mitra, who calls himself a “visual poet”, based in Kolkata.
“Social media is a free-spirited gallery which has no boundaries, no classification and no filtration. There are haters and trollers, of course, but there are thousands of other people too, who pick up the right note that the artist wants to tune in, in the system of society, through art,” he adds.
Currently, social media has become an independent source of information that has its nuances to deal with, a stage to voice opinions and a medium to create safe spaces. The way Instagram functions and the way trends form have changed over time.
Tania Banerjee, a young writer comments, “I learnt about feminism and protest poetry when I joined Instagram. It is here that I could finally voice my fight against patriarchy and fascism and, in turn, learnt a lot about how to make feminism more intersectional.”
One could rightfully say, Instagram is no more about random hashtags and filtered selfies, rather a progressive podium to vocalise dissent fiercely.