The Love Ethic
By Anwulika Anigbo
The Love Ethic is a visual arts project that will generate collaboratively made, screen-printed materials and a digital website to spread the desire for public policies and practices (personal and institutional) that are grounded in love. It is both an inner proclamation and what we declare to the world around us. This campaign says out loud what social movements desire at their core: the hope that we can express love to ourselves and those around us. In her book All About Love, bell hooks explores how we lost the "hopeful vision of justice and love" that was invoked by the liberation movements in the 1960s: "folks stopped talking about love." She describes the despair and fear that gripped the nation as beloved leaders were assassinated. This despair and fear preceded the removal of what hooks referred to as a "love ethic" from the public sphere and public policy by the late 1970s. It has been more than two years since the start of the global pandemic. Paradoxically, we seem less lucid than in those early days of cheering for care workers and doing grocery runs for our immuno-compromised friends and neighbors. We cannot lose sight of the love ethic that began to re-emerge in those early pandemic days as we labor through another period of protracted chaos. This project exposes the vulnerability inherent in the social movements/struggles of our time, and in doing so allows us to sustain our work past the tipping point by holding close what we are struggling towards. Fundamentally this project hopes to liberate the language of love within policy and cultural reform discussions.