Freedom Now: The Art of Black Liberation Exhibition
Victorian College of the Arts, 234 St Kilda Rd, SouthbankVictoria
Freedom Now: The Art of Black Liberation exhibition presents the work of Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party Minister for Culture and renowned Indigenous artist Richard Bell among others.
Emory Douglas worked as the Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until the Party disbanded in the 1980s. His graphic art was featured in most issues of the newspaper The Black Panther (which had a peak circulation of 139,000 per week in 1970) and has become an iconic representation of the struggles of the Party during the 1960s and 1970s. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Douglas “branded the militant-chic Panther image decades before the concept became commonplace. He used the newspaper’s popularity to incite the disenfranchised to action, portraying the poor with genuine empathy, not as victims but as outraged, unapologetic and ready for a fight.”
Aboriginal Australian artist Richard Bell’s artwork has been labeled “provocative,” “uncompromising,” and “controversial” for bringing race politics into the mainstream, however, Bell sees himself as “more activist than artist.” “I’m just being matter of fact,” he says. “I recognize some people find [my work] contentious, and that my paintings attract controversy. This response has nothing to do with me; the response has to do with the viewer.”
This exhibition is part of the radical Marxism Conference and any ticket holder gets into the exhibition special events for free.