Synopses & Reviews
From political activism comes the art of protest, symbols, and designs that defy standard definitions. This timely book shows how objects can change the world by out-designing authority. Included are items from protest movements over the past three decades from around the globe: papier-mandacirc;chandeacute; and cardboard puppets made by the Bread and Puppet theater in Vermont to protest the first Iraq war, buttons from the 1980s in solidarity with an imprisoned Nelson Mandela, andldquo;Silence = Deathandrdquo; posters from the AIDS activists Act Up, and banners, defaced currency, designs for barricades and blockades, political video games, an inflatable general assembly to facilitate consensus decision-making, experimental activist-bicycles, and textiles bearing witness to political murders.and#160; Included too are earlier inspirational objects of protest such as a suffragette tea set and the barricades and balloons of the Paris Commune. Disobedient Objects
focuses on the period from 1980 to the present, a time that brought new technologies and political challenges to protest movements. Provocative and engaging, this book showcases how artists have produced work within the context of social movements, which become the vibrant engines for ingenuity and collective creativity.
Imagine the civil rights movement without freedom songs and the politics of women's movements without poetry. Or, more difficult yet, imagine an America unaffected by the cultural expressions and forms of the twentieth-century social movements that have shaped our nation. The first broad overview of social movements and the distinctive cultural forms that express and helped shape them, The Art of Protest shows the vital importance of these movements to American culture. In comparative accounts of movements beginning with the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and running through the Internet-driven movement for global justice ("Will the revolution be cybercast?") of the twenty-first century, T. V. Reed enriches our understanding of protest and its cultural expression. Reed explores the street drama of the Black Panthers, the revolutionary murals of the Chicano movement, the American Indian Movement's use of film and video, rock music and the struggles against famine and apartheid, ACT UP's use of visual art in the campaign against AIDS, and the literature of environmental justice. Throughout, Reed employs the concept of culture in three interrelated ways: by examining social movements as sub- or countercultures; by looking at poetry, painting, music, murals, film, and fiction in and around social movements; and by considering the ways in which the cultural texts generated by resistance movements have reshaped the contours of the wider American culture. The United States is a nation that began with a protest. Through the kaleidoscopic lens of artistic and cultural expression, Reed reveals how activism continues to remake our world.
A comprehensive introduction to the culture of progressive movements in the United States.
About the Author
Catherine Flood is a curator in the Word and Image Department at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Gavin Grindon is visiting research fellow at the VandA and postdoctoral fellow in Visual and Material Culture at Kingston University, London.
Table of Contents
Contents Acknowledgments Introduction
1. Singing Civil Rights: The Freedom Song Tradition 2. Scenarios for Revolution: The Drama of the Black Panthers 3. The Poetical is the Political: Feminist Poetry and the Poetics of Women's Movements 4. Revolutionary Walls: Chicano/a Murals, Chicano/a Movements 5. Old Cowboys, New Indians: Hollywood Frames the American Indian Movement 6. "We Are [Not] the World": Famine, Apartheid, and Rock Music in Movements of the 1980s 7. ACTing UP Against AIDS: The (Very) Graphic Arts in Postmodern Movement 8. Race, Class, Gender, Environment, Literature: Environmental Justice Ecocriticism 9. Will the Revolution Be Cybercast? New Media, the Battle of Seattle, and the Movement for Global Justice 10. Reflections On the Cultural Study of Social Movements Notes Index