After the class discussion I found myself considering tackling the topic of civility in my next project (need some collaboration over here!). Just doing some research here and feeling it out right now: topic subject to change. It seems we have become a a country that accepts rude and uncivil behavior among each other – with no regard to the other person (or the other side).
I hate to even get into politics at all but this is even more relevant with the recent election. I couldn’t help but notice all the smear campaigns. Why can’t you tell me what YOU STAND FOR and what YOU WILL FIGHT FOR – don’t tell me the other opponent hates children. We are voting for a name, not what the politicians actually stand for, the changes they will make and the policies they will fight for – no wonder the government seems to be in disarray. I going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority of voters don’t really know what they are getting because they don’t have the right information. I, myself voted and was disappointed to know that in my age bracket had a pathetic turnout percentage in this election – this is not okay! Voting this is your right as an American! You have no right to complain because you do not actively participate in your right to vote and have a say in our government. I am by no means the most political-savvy person but everyone is entitles to their opinion. According to Jim Campanelli from The Plain Dealer here are some stats from this year’s elections:
- 85% of Americans say that peaceful, civil campaigns are possible
- 10% of Americans say that nasty campaigns are unavoidable
- 58% of Americans say that political discourse has gotten worse since Obama took office.
Only 10% of us think that nasty campaigns are unavoidable? If we practice civility in our daily lives (this includes you politicians and media!) this could change but only if we act right together.
Why are we uncivil to each other? The media, politicians, and (god-forbid) celebrities are influencing our behavior through their own misconduct. If we act uncivil to each other how will our children grow up? It will become a cycle that may become unbreakable at a certain point.
Some have argued that being too civil may lead to people being more soft. Being civil doesn’t always mean you have to be nice. There are of course certain situations where you have to put you foot down and fight – in the presence of injustices. Even in these situations there should be a level of civility – show some respect. Upon my research I found a campaign aimed to encourage people to retain respectful communication – “using the basic principles of respect”. Speak Your Peace is sponsored by the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation of California. Their nine principles of respect:
- Pay attentions
- Be inclusive
- Not gossip
- Show respect
- Be agreeable
- Give constructive criticism
- Take responsibility
The Speak Your Peace campaign understands that debates and disagreements can be beneficial to communication they encourage the residents of the community to participate to “communicate in a more respectful and effective way”. In their statement they aim to “[elevate] our level of communication and avoiding personal attacks and general stubbornness, we can avoid unhealthy debate. This will lead to a more effective democracy, and help maintain our sense of community by increasing civic participation.”
On a more artistic level I found a symposium held on October 29th – Speculations on the Cultural Organization of Civility was hosted by SKOR. The mission of this is to “discuss the role of art and the creative industries in the formation of contemporary civility.”
They look at healthcare more specially. There were also art events and activities and installations around Amsterdam. Artists involved range from several areas such as photographers, sculptors, and graffiti artists to name a few. Marc Bijil, a dutch artist has some interesting work. The piece below (not in the Amsterdam installation) is titled “Construction Sign” and was done in 2008
Check out his work here.
A graffiti piece from the street installation:
Graffiti artist Lasser 3.14
“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire