To mobilize and to protest - these two key functions of social movements are theatrical, public, and visual. Whether it is a “people’s cantata” in 1970’s Chile, voter education tools in 1990’s Peru, or the picket signs carried in a worker’s strike in North Carolina in 2003, protest art illustrates a visual language. This language often draws upon shared cultural motifs, design traditions, and even mass media and corporate branding to generate complex messages that question the cultural and political basis of power and oppression.
The stylistic affinities of protest art across space and time are compelling evidence of historical ties and strategic convergence between seemingly disparate actors in the social justice and human rights movements. We invite you to further explore these issues in the Archive for Human Rights collections of the Rare Book Manuscript and Special Collections Library from which items in this exhibit are drawn.
The items in these cases are drawn from:
Center for International Policy records
Coletta Youngers papers
Student Action with Farmworkers records
Washington Office on Latin America records