Art and citizenship: Practices and discourses of young artivists in Portugal

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The literature on youth and political participation has been increasingly paying attention to more alternative and non-institutional forms of engagement by that cohort. The growing detachment from the sphere of institutional participation is the other face of these trends which have been intensifying and are behind some authors' descriptions of young people as apathic and apolitical. In reality, young people think and act politically in fields where the private and public spheres mix, and which involve entertainment, leisure, and sociability. Outside the normative political sphere, based on an adult-centric world vision, young people construct new forms of intervention that spring from questioning the world, the exercise of power, and different forms of inequality. The artistic and creative practices have functioned as crucial devices for young people to secure a space in the public sphere. In this article we employ the term artivism to reflect on how they articulate this combination of art and civic intervention. It is based on a project developed in Portugal involving in-depth interviews with young people between 14 and 35 years who are involved in multiple causes. The analysis of their discourses allowed us to develop a typology of functions that are attributed to artivism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural and Political Sociology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023


  • Artivism
  • Citizenship
  • Political participation
  • Portugal
  • Youth


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