Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Blog 8

Also at the Urbis was "Black Panther: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution". Emory Douglas was the minister of culture for The Black Panther Party (originally The Black Panther Party for self-defence). The party was an African-American organization established to promote Black power and self-defence. They wanted to end police brutality and murder of black people and basically the same level of healthcare, housing and respect that white people recieved. Using art in their political newspaper and social agitation the group overcame so much opression and racism and eventually achieved the society we have today. There are two reasons why this exhibition is so significant, one is that is starts from the very beginning when public lynching was something to be laughed and jeered at, people could have photos taken with the dead bodies and it ends up with... Barack Obama, the first black president, it ends on such a high. The second reason for it's significance is that it's an example of revolutionary art that we could've used to answer our CS essay question. I answered the question using the Russian Revolution and completely overlooked such a prolific part of world history. To me the art has quite a PopArt feel to it and Douglas used catchy slogans such as "All power to the people". Something I also found that he used pigs and rats to represent police and politicians and suddenly realised that although we probably shouldn't as it's derogatory, we still use it as part of our everyday language. I was really impressed with this exhibitiona and felt that I learnt alot about Black History that I probably should've already been taught and that Emory Douglas' art was truely powerful, thought provoking and life changing stuff!

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