Cast your eye back through history and you will come across countless examples of art within activism. Think of the soul music in the Civil Rights Movement or propaganda posters made by the suffragettes, to name just two examples.
Part of Journey to Justice’s purpose is to explore the power of the arts in activism. So, when we visited Liverpool’s International Slavery Museum, we brought together artists’ work to celebrate activism on the ground today.
Of Rights and Resistance was a collaboration between the International Slavery Museum and Liverpool John Moores’ University to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. After a workshop exploring the museum’s civil rights collections, students created artworks in response to the collections. They explored issues including civil rights, freedom, discrimination, repression and resistance. Some commemorated key figures of the Civil Rights Movement and historic struggles for freedom. Others explored contemporary activism and the continued struggle against inequality.
Watch this video to hear from the students and curator:
Max Palmer’s piece Anti-Segregation reclaimed bathroom signs used in the period of 20th century racial segregation in the United States, putting a modern twist on them by replacing ‘Blacks’ and ‘whites’ with ‘everyone’ and ‘anyone’.
Kirsty Buckley created an installation called What Would you Protest? with interactive Snapchat codes which, when scanned, unlocked filters visitors could use to show what they would protest against today. Filters included the hashtags #IHaveADreamISM and #JourneyToJustice. By using Snapchat, Kirsty made the story accessible to a younger audience.