Art at its best is challenging and at times question, whether through spoken allusions or visual imagery. #ArtHo has this in spades, questioning societal norms, specifically stereotypes regarding race, it is also a hashtag that has taken off, into the wild world of social media.
Despite popular opinion is more than just a venue for vacuous teenagers and celebrities discussing their first world problems, it is also a venue for people striving for social change and a challenge to social injustice. In this case a collection of artists known as POC artists (people of colour).
Essentially the ArtHo movement is question cultural stereotypes, this is originated as a way to empower young black artists, however it has become inclusive of all those who feel like outcasts.
A majority of the posts appear to be selfies, while selfies have become infamous for representing those who are vain and self-centred; those with the ArtHo hash tag have made alterations to the images, whether scribbles of writing or drawn backgrounds and background images, to seemingly provide juxtaposition between the person in the centre and the images surrounding them, conjuring questions such as “does this look wrong?” and “why do you think that is?”
That’s the key to these posts, they make the background alterations look surreal as if to say “that is how these images would be perceived” that questioning underlying assumptions of a person’s race or culture is just as surreal.
Due to the nature of social media, this movement has gained traction, even gaining the support of celebrities Willow Smith and Amandla Stenberg. Whether this is due to a desire to jump on to whatever is trending or a genuine effort of people to enact social change, this is a positive thing, as this movement seems to be a movement for positive change, with the hope of empowering those in society who might not feel included, or have experienced prejudice based on assumptions based on the colour of their skin, or other factors, including gender identity and sexual orientation.
All that’s left is to ask these questions, do you think the internet is a useful tool in enacting social change? Do you think this is the step in the right direction for an inclusive society? And finally would you consider yourself in the movement?