guest editor WIDE AWAKES artwork HANK WILLIS THOMAS introduction JAMMAL LEMY
WIDE AWAKES The network of creatives reimagining the future of protest
To be young and wide awake goes past awareness.
To be young and wide awake today is not only being aware, but thinking about how you can use your awareness and your passion, drive, creativity and skill-set to impact the community. To touch the community.
I’m wide awake. The Wide Awakes have their historical definition, but I see it as a group of aware individuals: individuals who are not only aware of their surroundings and what’s going on, but are putting their best foot forward and trying to change their surroundings for the overall better. For the betterment of their community, their state, their country, their environment. Hank, and the Wide Awakes, and For Freedoms, and everyone in my circle – in my reality – are individuals who believe in the future. Individuals who believe in this optimistic, righteous and compassionate future that we’re not only creating for ourselves, but for those to come after us. It’s a future personified in individuals like late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis, a man who believed in the idea of paying it forward. A true hero is someone who is able to do the work so people can reap the benefits long after they’re gone.
The Wide Awakes collective is a group of individuals on this same frequency. And they’re using art. They’re using community. Tools to change the world. And while I think a lot of people are wide awake, or have been wide awake for a while – there is now a platform and a central consciousness to let that work live and exist.
Jammal Lemy is a 22-year-old artist and filmmaker who was formerly creative director of March for Our Lives
DAZED AUTUMN 2020