Back in the day, one of the ways Spain colonized their newly conquered land was by religion. They indoctrinated the people they conquered through paintings on the walls and windows of churches, hence the stained glass with religious portraits. Churches were filled with these visuals, towering over people, even up in the ceilings. This was their way of teaching the religion to the natives, who did not speak the same language as they did. Eventually they were able to convert native speakers who told the stories and explained what the visuals were about. Their main tool to subdue natives may have been religion but it was through the arts that they were able to introduce it to the people.
Art is not just the visuals as in paintings, pictures, murals, frescos and stained glass, it spans to music, dance, plays, shows, written and spoken word. Through Art is where we express ourselves, tell our history, our story, aspirations, portray our current society or inspire the succeeding generations.
Suppressing the arts is a standard procedure in conquering people, substituting it to inculcate an agenda is the first phase in altering people’s culture. When history starts being altered, historic monuments taken down, semantics become tactics and people who have a different opinions are attacked, these are signs that an ideology is on the rise while the current culture is under attack.
Now the arts has expanded to the digital realm. It is basically every form of media that we create and consume. It may not be the same as the classics, perhaps not even as tasteful but as much influential as ever, maybe even more. As it was used in communist regimes and in eras of colonization, so it is being used now to alter people’s perception of right and wrong. Bombard people’s senses with altered words and images, have people of influence repeat the lie, and have every form of art and media, including sports and movies, promote it and sooner or later, if not opposed, the scheme may take hold. The alarming part is when the deception reaches the schools which means from elementary to collegiate level where indoctrination happens.
It is not just for political agendas. Take martial arts for example. It is one of the arts that is a great way to disseminate the culture of it’s origin. Practitioners learn the language through simple commands and counting off drills. Uniforms and ceremonies only adds to the experience. Sooner or later practitioners who are serious about improving their skills visit the actual country, try that culture’s food and sometimes they even adapt the culture and choose to live it.
It is quite incomprehensible why the arts were taken out of schools and considered to be of less importance than the sciences. It is no wonder it is being said that school is where creativity dies. The so called leaders of this country thought that focusing on the sciences would improve our children’s standing compared to the children of other countries. How did that work out?
From then until now, the arts which is basically now any platform of media, can be the conduit through which an agenda can be ingrained in people, a venue to express ourselves and humanity, a mirror to reflect our current society, or a tool to shape our a culture.