Liberation as a State of Mind

by Cynthia Nassif

Liberation in definition is the state of being liberated. Nations across the globe have been undergoing constant revolutions, coup, and other forms of political dynamics in order to promote what they believe is their liberation from an oppressed nation, government, society, etc…  Nevertheless, for Paulo Freire, education is a form of liberation. It is through changing this banking model of education where the pupil is a vessel and the teacher is the one storing information to fill that vessel, that we can ultimately liberate our minds and our souls.

A stunning finding by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto from the findings of Human Genome Project illustrates the genetic difference between apes and human beings by less than two percent. It amazes me because yet we seem so different. I believe that this difference stems from our ability to liberate our minds and souls by treating each other with dignity. Henceforward, art has been a stimulator of change all over the world. Using colors and drawings to portray the inner sufferings with child soldiers, aiding in the re-integration of trafficked women and children, the Occupy movement, Ai Weiwei works, and other forms of expressive arts have been depicting the state of liberation. According to Suzi Gablik, author of The Re-enchantment of Art, artists today are social agents of change and they are responsible towards their community. Their intentions matter and their work speak much more than words. Hence, art is a universal language that can transcend peace, knowledge, and awareness to all generations from different groups and backgrounds. Peacebuilders around the world must experience art so that they may gently implement it where necessary to promote change towards what I call a new state of mind which is the utmost form of liberation.

In conclusion, Bell Hooks explains in her book “Teaching to Transgress” that “Theory is not inherently healing, liberatory, or revolutionary. It fulfills its function only when we ask it to do so and direct our theorizing towards this end.”  Therefore, I believe, we need the courage to understand that we are able to catalyze change and liberate ourselves through expressive arts that create a safe place for individuals to express themselves responsibly so that they will acknowledge and respect the responsiveness of others from different backgrounds towards their art. It is a form of social movement that helps create economic and thus political liberation.