Art is seeing through and making what we see visible to the rest of humanity.
Politics is the process of power-sharing (or not sharing, as the case may be.)
You can see that art may be a threat to politics. I used to be surprised that repressive regimes quickly arrest the artists, then try to control all artistic expression. Now I see that they are wise to do so-because the artist sees through-through all the BS, through all the conformity, through the “official story.” Very subversive!
So I was encouraged that Palestinians who went through brutal bombing (again) this past summer are making art. A people that makes art still has hope. They are making art on an ugly cement wall, expressing many things: expressing themselves, seeing through and making what they see visible to the rest of humanity.
When a people loses hope, or becomes acculturated, they sink into things like crime, alcoholism and drug addiction. Their family structure falls apart. Enclaves of such people exist all over the past colonial empires. Having lost their way of life, they lose themselves. Of course, their oppressors point to their degraded life and claim that that is why they failed, they were subhuman in the first place.
But as long as they are fighting back, as long as they are making art, they are saying, “I am a human being, I have value, and I will be treated that way.”