Explore Themes


Anthropocene & Posthumanism

Posthumanism provides a way to move past anthropocentric views that have led to our current age – the Anthropocene – a period during which humans have negatively impacted the earth’s environment and led to substantial destructive geological changes.


Biodiversity & Biopolitics

While biodiversity is led through the research and establishment of ecological conservation practices, biopolitics is the management of the many relationships between the political, social, biological, and economic factors that dictate these practices; many ViVA artists are invested in both.


Climate Change

Long-term changes in weather due to global warming have altered climates around the globe and resulted in a range of rapid social, economic, political and other changes.



People with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments can experience numerous barriers when they try to participate fully in society and this results in a range of inequities.



The ability to understand and relate to the feelings of others has been identified as a skillset requiring increased attention and dedicated training. Most of our artists address this in their work.



Equality & Equity

Artists whose work emphasizes how individuals and groups of people are prevented access to opportunities and resources, alongside recognition of the intersectional circumstances that pose hurdles.




Advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes is a core concern for many of ViVA’s artists and collectives, and it is at the foundation of our mission.



Immigration & Migration

Climate, politics, economics, and social factors contribute to a range of formal and informal movements of individuals and groups from and between countries, regions, and across different kinds of borders.


LGBTQ+ Awareness & Rights

ViVA is founded on supporting artists who identify as LGBTQ+ and the work and creative practices that reflect new ways to view nature, biology, and sexuality by challenging heteronormative assumptions.



Military Industrial Complex

Critical considerations about the relationships between the military arm of nations around the world and the defense industry that has arisen around them.


Populism & Authoritarianism

The past decade has seen a rise in the linkage of political populism and authoritarianism around the world; artists are invested in making work and leading conversations about this.


Power & Privilege

Those who hold power make decisions and define access to resources. Power often works in tandem with privilege, which operates on individual, cultural, and institutional levels and gives advantages, favors, and benefits to dominant members or groups at the expense of others.


Resilience, Wellness & Mental Health

Physical wellness, mental health, and resiliency are necessary to protect our quality of life and prevent disease, but each are eroded by many factors tied to economics, social upheavals, racial and ethnic identities, gender and sexuality, among other challenges.



The extraction of labor and restriction of freedoms of people in different times and places. Artists concerned with this theme explore personal, political, economic and social histories.


Survival & Self-Determination

Climate change and dramatic social, political, and economic shifts demand rediscovery of old survival skills and forms of self-determination concurrent with new technologies and tools to navigate an unknown future.


Systems Thinking & Institutional Structures

Many artists are socially engaged problem-solvers with a vested interest in creative systems thinking; a mode of exploring the influential parts of a system or an institution in order to successfully address very complex problems.


Beyond Nature/Culture

Many artists, alongside scientists and scholars, have moved away from the traditional dichotomy of nature and culture; they ask questions, explore other traditions, and provide perspectives that upset Western cultural histories and worldviews.


Anti-Racism, BLM & Racial Inequality

Many ViVA artists work within the multi-faceted arena of racial justice. Their work and practices force recognition of racial inequality and reckonings with its myriad effects, including 21st century social movements and efforts like Black Lives Matter, understanding whiteness, and practicing anti-racism.


Democracy & Capitalism

Often critiqued individually or in combination, artists working in this theme explore current problems in capitalist systems and their impact on democratic ideals and practices.


Economic Disparity

Critiques on the widening income divide and inequalities inherent in growing class disparities among individuals, groups and populations are of concern to many ViVA artists.


Environmental Justice & Ecological Systems

Central to addressing climate change and our ongoing integration of environmental policies and laws is the equal treatment and inclusion of all people from all races, ethnicities, economic brackets, and national origins, and the understanding of how ecological systems impact different people across time and space.


Extractivism, Deforestation & Desertification

Climate change and environmental injustice are intimately tied to the extraction and consumption of oil, coal, and natural gas; deforestation and desertification of large swaths of the United States and other countries are a byproduct.


Global Systems, Trade, and Development

Many artists are interested in the environmental, legal, fiscal, economic, political, social and cultural systems and networks that define and alter the world, including trade between and among nations, and the role of aid and development between wealthy and poor countries.


Indigenous Practices

Indigenous peoples around the world and their knowledge, practices, traditions, and values are highlighted by ViVA artists, who share lost or unacknowledged epistemologies and histories.



A set of socially and biologically associated behaviors, characteristics, cultural roles, and identities that are linked to men and boys, many of which are critically tied to sexism and misogyny, homophobia, and other social problems.


Multispecies Ethos & Animal/Nature Rights

Focusing on the entangled existence of humans and the non-human world, a multispecies perspective presents new opportunities to understand broader human-wildlife interaction and reliance; it repositions the rights of animals and nature relative to humanity.


Post-/Anti-Colonialism & Decolonization

With critical awareness of the impact of beliefs and practices central to the Western colonial period, many artists are invested in anti-colonial and decolonizing ideas and projects that expose colonial histories and strengthen the agency of formerly subordinated peoples.


Privacy & Security

In our digitally-saturated lives, Privacy relates to your rights to control personal information, while Security refers to how your personal information is protected.


Science, Technology, Data & Mapping

ViVA artists possess deep commitments to a range of scientific methods and technologies rarely associated with artmaking, the use and production of data and mapping in visual storytelling, and socially engaged citizen science.



New and renewed forms of spirituality emerge during times of individual and collective crisis; ViVA artists are concerned with the ways the human spirit or soul is impacted by our changing climate, inequalities, political strife, and human conflict.


SWANA & Palestinian Rights and Identities

Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) peoples, including those in the diaspora, possess unique identities and experience dehumanization resulting from wars and conflicts, religious affiliations, and misunderstood histories and cultures.


Water & Food Practices

Many ViVA artists are invested in creative practices and socially engaged projects that address access to water and food practices, often from identity-based perspectives, with regional specificity, or through varied forms of visual storytelling.