Why Are We ‘Artists’? : 100 World Art Manifestos edited by Jessica Lack

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Penguin, 2017

‘Art is not a luxury. Art is a basic social need to which everyone has a right’. This extraordinary collection of 100 artists’ manifestos from across the globe over the last 100 years brings together activists, post-colonialists, surrealists, socialists, nihilists and a host of other voices.

From the Negritude movement in Africa and Martinique to Brazil’s Mud/Meat Sewer Manifesto, from Iraqi modernism to Australia’s Cyberfeminist Manifesto, they are by turns personal, political, utopian, angry, sublime and revolutionary. Some have not been published in English before; some were written in climates of censorship and brutality; some contain visions of a future still on the horizon. What unites them is the belief that art can change the world.