Writing, visual art and performance have always been political acts. This is what I was taught, and it feels true, but living in a relatively safe and free country, I hadn’t taken the time to really think of why. I’m very glad to be asked to speak on this subject. Like all the tenets we learn when young, this one needed to be examined. A tenet held without reflection is just dogma, isn’t it? I know that in many places in the world, over many time periods, writers and artists were at risk of arrest, execution, torture. So of course creating art is a political act. But many of the works I’ve read by such writers didn’t strike me as “political” writing.