Well, that was a surprise. Voters who felt marginalized by a changing world came out to strongly support their candidate, whose election, in turn, makes others feel marginalized and scared, even threatened. The common link is that people on all sides feel injustice, like they haven't been treated fairly by the system as it exists today.
As Hillary Clinton said this morning, “America is more deeply divided than we thought.” So, how do we begin the process of repairing those deep divides? How do we build understanding and empathy between the different people and groups that comprise our fractured nation?
At a time when people are more isolated than ever, spending more time staring at screens (about 11 hours a day, says Nielsen), desperate for connection (checking Facebook 14x a day), more likely to live alone, and stuck in a social media “filter bubble,” how do we possibly come together in a spirit of mutual understanding and empathy to build a better world?
Because, in order to build community, we have to come together, in real space. One of the greatest tools we have for creating community, while also building understanding, empathy, and collaboration between people is art, specifically participatory art, art that provides a forum for people of different beliefs and backgrounds to create and share and express themselves together.
Art enables us to imagine alternate possibilities for ourselves and our society, and to create and test them. When we invite everyone to come together to co-create, we start the process of imagining a future that serves everyone, that meets everyone’s needs. Creativity is a universal asset, with many benefits. We need to empower everyone to create in order to build mutual understanding and imagine a better future.
And this is where FIGMENT comes in. Please join us in continuing to fight for a world that empowers everyone to create and share in a spirit of equality and mutual understanding. There is room enough for all of us here, and every one of us has something to say and share and create that is worth experiencing.
As BBC Travel wrote, “If FIGMENT were a country, it would be the happiest in the world – and I would apply for citizenship immediately.” Let’s fight to bring that joy, that spirit of inclusion and understanding, to everyone.
Much love to everyone on a difficult day.
Founder and Executive Producer