This is something I’ve been toying with for quite a while; some kind of articulation of the work I feel I’d like to do, on and off the page. For a long while I’ve been feeling as though I’m against so much it might be nice to clarify what I’m for…  And also a little of what I don’t like too! So, this is my Artistic Manifesto, feel free to comment, or sign up if you agree, also using the comment box below. It might change some over time, but this is pretty much where I am right now…

I/we the undersigned, express my/our resolve to:

1. Remain committed to art in all its manifestations.

2. Dedicate my chosen art form to the sole purpose of a truthful depiction of the world from my perspective.

3. Shun all forms of artistic segregation, expecially those that are concerned with class, race, gender, religion, and/or culture.

4. Shun all forms of literary segregation on the basis of genre, or any of the above categories.

5. Pledge to use my art towards the betterment of humankind as a whole, rather than the individual.

6. Endeavour to infuse my life and work with a  knowledge and respect for artistic/cultural traditions, no matter where those traditions hail from.

7. Reject all art that displays any agenda other than the equality of humankind.

8. Accept that the world cannot change without collective effort, and pledge to maintain the tenents of this manifesto even if they do not.

9. Pledge to challenge all art and artists that pander to a neo-colonial view of the world and all it’s cultures.

10. Reject the notion of fame and/or commercialism as an artistic goal. Rather, fame and wealth should come as a by-product of acheiving the above aims.


Courttia Newland 28/2/11


~ by courttianewland on 28/02/2011.


  1. Well said and very much needed ! Thank you X

  2. Wonderful Manifesto. I wonder however how to reconcile the philosophy behind one’s art and the production of that art. How would you address this challenge. I project of course:-)

  3. Courttia,

    This is a great thing you’re doing. Movements traditionally have been organized around manifestoes. What kind of movement will you usher?

    I subscribe to all of the above and would add to facilitate a cultural conversation across the Atlantic. To many of us are living in a bubble. I want to be freed from those lines of nationality, class, religion, simple-mindedness, etc.

  4. I’ve been trying to click “Like” but it hasn’t worked. I Like.

  5. Hey Courttia,

    I’m not sure I could sign up to pt 4 – I deffo draw the line at vampires & pixies…;-)

    That aside, I’m on board!

  6. Hey Courttia,

    your manifesto is an inspiration and something I wholeheartedly subscribe to – thank you.

  7. Sole purpose – truthful depiction of the world from my perspective. Like. Plenty. Rejecting neo-colonialism? Comes in so many forms and guises as to be difficult to spot. I would advocate positives (what are we for?) in place of negatives (what we are against). Talk it up Bro. Love.

  8. This is really beautiful and I feel is a gift and in it’s essence is for us to share for the benefit of the whole… and as I believe we are all connected there is no other way that makes sense but to create with love and with the intention that our art will benefit the whole which is humankind and our dear planet. Thanks for taking the time and thought to write this down.

  9. Courtts, you’re the truth!

    An eloquent and honest articulation of that which burns within a true artist…….I definitely pledge.

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with both the spirit and the detail of what you say here. I’d also like to be able to come up with a similar manifesto about Science, since I have a foot in both camps, as it were. In fact, I could pretty much substitute ‘Science’ for ‘Art’ in your manifesto and have something that defines the way I’d like to think I work. I’d then add a final point to both, which would be something to do with artists and scientists being open-minded about each others perceptions of the world and realising that they have a lot to offer each other. After all, scientists and artists are both just trying to understand something about the world we live in, and any knowledge and insights gained should be shared, for the “the betterment of humankind as a whole, rather than the individual.” (your point 5!).

  11. Hi All,

    Thanks for taking the time out to comment on this! Really interesting stuff…

    @ Bighead Scientist – I agree, it’s tricky to negotiate the needs of the industry with the needs of an artist sometimes… There are compromises made on both sides, positives too, and what I’m proposing for myself anyway, is weighing up where I might draw the line, and where I may cross. The most important thing to me is getting the message in the manifesto across via my work and actions. So, if that’s compromised in any way, I may have to take another route. With my new collection especially, I think I have found that route.

    @ Abdul, not sure about ushering a movement, in the sense that that seems a few steps away. I was just testing to see what I feel for myself, and if others agree. I had a feeling you would! Next begins dialogue, then discussion, then the simple act of sharing information, comparing agendas, working together. The ‘movement’ would begin when we make moves. Once we begin to talk, things will happen inevitably. Tearing down our boundaries to achieve cultural conversation is one of the ways this could happen, so I’m grateful you reminded me, and I’ll definitely bear it in mind if I expand the manifesto.

    @ Tamim – there’s always room for vampires and pixies – provided they are written well! Colson Whitehead was proposing a vampire story/novel – I’d like to read that!

    @ Foluke – I think the most obvious forms of neo-colonialism are so overt you can’t help but see them – think David Cameron’s way of dealing with the current situation in the Middle East – and unfortunately this rears its head in publishing too. Everyone has a right to an opinion, but democracy also means I have a right to challange that opinion, and it’s this lack of a right that I stand against. Very often, standing in one place polarises you in another. Better to be aware what you’re up against.

    @ Susan – I’ve always felt that science and the creative arts often go hand in hand. I also feel that both have been perverted by an agenda of racism, sexism and commerce to say the least. I strongly believe that the practioners of both can work together for a better understanding of the universe as a whole. Like to talk to you about that at some point.

    Thanks again for all your comments, keep watching this space!


  12. I concur…

  13. Thanks man! I really appreciate you taking the time to do this. I pledge to do all I can to live by this manifesto.

    Perhaps point five and seven are a little anthropocentric. Shall we add something to the effect of betterment of nature and awakening humans to the fact that we are a part of nature? I feel being explicit about that is essential to recognizing our condition.

    Man, thanks a bunch for this though. If I were to memorize this, and recite it daily, I’d be a better person.

  14. @Manu – absolutely right. I was talking from a fiction writer’s perspective, where the art is used specifically for the exploration of what makes us human, but I agree with your point 100% and think it should be added. There will be a revised version, I promise!

    @Brook – thanks man. Hope all’s well for you and your work.

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