This article explores the role and impact of activist artists on social change using the universal language of art. Activist artists aim to raise awareness and transform social, political or environmental issues by using artistic expression. By examining examples of selected activist artist works, the article examines the path that activist artists follow to affect change in society and the position of activism in the field of art. Activist artists aim to bring artistic expression to the audience by using the language of political expression, by processing social problems through their media, by criticizing, changing and raising awareness. They fulfill an important mission by informing and activating the audience and creating awareness about social problems. In general, in his works, human rights violations, gender uniqueness, racism, environmental problems, etc. By focusing on social issues, examining the current situation and questioning it in line with the norms and structures in society, they encourage change with alternative expression methods. By emphasizing the dramatic effects of the events they deal with while creating their works, activist artists aim to provoke an emotional response from the audience and receive warnings to take action regarding social problems. Artists' creation of this environment supports change by creating social awareness, contributing to political or social transformations, making the voices of marginalized groups heard, awareness of problems and change. Contrary to the pleasant, aesthetic pursuits that art has pursued from past to present, activist artists deal with issues that are disturbing, shameful, can be described as a shame for humanity, or can negatively affect the future of the world, without economic concern. They create strong messages with the way they convey the topics, encourage people to take action, and draw attention to events that negatively affect society. They catch the audience off guard in the places and media where they exhibit their works, and expose them to problems by informing them, even though they have no interest or knowledge of the subject. Thus, the way they handle the subject has a significant impact on raising public awareness. Based on activist works, this article discusses the areas where audiences encounter activist works, their impact on awareness levels, and their contributions to social transformation.
Keywords: Activist art, activist artists, social awareness, critical art