Jose Maria Sison on Art, Culture, and Literature

I am sure that there are already important and inspiring works in the fields of art, culture and literature which help us to comprehend and confront the challenges of the 21st century. These works are being created as a reflection of and in conjunction with the suffering, sacrifices, struggles, successes and aspirations of peoples, such as those in the Philippines and India, who are waging new democratic revolutions, with a socialist perspective. Such creative works are waiting to be recognized and appreciated on a global scale.

I am most acquainted with revolutionary literary and artistic works in the Philippines. These are imbued with the spirit of serving the people. They expose the forces of oppression and exploitation and inspire the workers, peasants and the rest of the people to wage revolutionary struggle against imperialism and reaction, and for a fundamentally new and better world of greater freedom, democracy, social justice, development, cultural progress and international solidarity. There are many excellent writers, artists and cultural workers. They are well organized and join the protest mass actions as well as the people’s war in the countryside.

They are guided by Marxist aesthetics and by Mao’s Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art and his other works on cultural work and propaganda. They have studied the works created under the guidance of socialist realism when the Soviet Union was still socialist, the creative works of Left American writers in the 1930s and the revolutionary works in socialist China up to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. At the same time, they break new paths in adopting and developing subjects and styles in the various literary and art forms.

It is not surprising that the most important and inspiring works are being done in countries where the revolutionary struggles are most intense. In this regard, I am optimistic that as the social and ecological crises worsen, more people will rise up in both underdeveloped and developed countries. Their revolutionary struggles will generate the impetus for literary and artistic creations by the people and for the people through various forms and means – real and digital. The writers, artists and cultural workers are a growing major component of the revolutionary movement on a global scale.

Jose Maria Sison,
“Burning Questions: Talking With José María Sison About Climate Change, Capitalism and Revolution”

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