This week I went out knocking on doors with a friend of mine to encourage people to get to the polls. We were sent to the outer edges of the county, where the roads are skinny and people drive too fast and there’s really nowhere to park in order to walk door to door. It took us about an hour to talk to two women (at two different houses) and leave three flyers for people that weren’t home. One woman yelled from behind her closed door that she wasn’t interested. And we chose to skip one dead-end street full of No Trespassing signs and American flags, feeling that it might not be terribly safe for two women to go around disturbing the residents there.
In the end, my contribution to the cause was miniscule. Is there a better way for me to contribute? I am not Banksy, not Ai Weiwei, not Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy. Can a kitchen artist use her art to make a difference?
Kitchen artist. I’ve coined it from the term I’ve heard people use to describe my proficiency in another language: kitchen German —meaning that I have a very good understanding of German used in the home (having grown up in a German-speaking household), but that I’m not proficient enough to claim to be a fluent speaker. I would not be able to take a class at a German university, or take a job answering phones in Germany. I have been writing and making art my whole life, but not for money. I am not even known in my community as a writer and artist. Instead, I am known by the work I get paid for.
So how do kitchen artists like me make ourselves heard? Can we make a difference with what we create?
My readership is approximately zero. If anyone happens to read my blog or look at my artwork, it’s a friend or family member. Most of my friends or family, like me, already plan to vote in the mid-term elections. So how do I reach those people on the rural roads of Indiana and encourage them to vote? How do we kitchen artists use our art for the good of the world?