After reading the article,“Art as Critical Public Pedagogy: A Qualitative Study of Luis Camnitzer and His Conceptual Art,” I came away with many useful insights as to why the arts are such a powerful tool in developing the ability to perceive social, political, and economic contradictions and to take action against the oppressive elements of reality. This is called critical consciousness, and in my personal experience, it was the arts that developed these abilities in my life from a young age. Here is a quote form the article:
Art helps create meaning about the world around us. Our world is not simply reflected back but understood through systems of representation in which we constantly engage. We enter a relationship with images that are representations generating meaning. Unquestioned images, symbols, and media are part of the ideology of hegemony, while learning to question what is presented is part of the development of critical consciousness; displaying alternative images can also be an attempt to educate for critical consciousness.