Art attack

You don't have to be in the Commons to make a difference. All sorts of artists use their work to cha

Steve Bell, cartoonist Over the past 25 years, Bell has created iconic portraits - often more memorable than the people they depict. He has a unique ability to respond to and shape the public mood. Few could argue that Bell's image of John Major in a "Superman" outfit, with his underpants over his trousers, did not further undermine the then prime minister's position. In 1979, Bell began the anti-Tory comic Maggie's Forum for Private Eye, before moving to the Guardian in 1981 with his If . . . column. Bell's journalistic grasp of events is equal to any columnist. In 2005, he won Satirist of the Year at the Channel 4 Political Awards.

John Adams, composer Adams has written political operas such as The Death of Klinghoffer (1990-91), which relates the hijacking of a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists in 1985, when a Jewish American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, was killed. The performance was picketed by the Jewish Information League, and Adams was accused of "romanticising terrorists". His latest opera, Doctor Atomic, about the scientific and moral crises surrounding the creation of the world's first atomic bomb in 1945, has been developed from sources including declassified government documents. It premiered this month at the San Francisco Opera.

Soweto Kinch, saxophonist and rapper A self-taught saxophonist, Kinch took up jazz full-time after graduating in history from Oxford. His debut album, Conversations with the Unseen (2003), mixed post-bop jazz and rap, winning rave reviews. So what's political about it? Kinch argues that jazz can be distinguished from other kinds of popular music because it is about collective improvisation. It is a politics of unity in which musicians have to listen and respond to one another, offering an alternative to the selfish materialism celebrated by so much contemporary popular music. His recent Jazz Planet imagines a world in which jazz and pop change places.