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the month of February is revolutionary

February.26.2010

I know I’m late on this tip, but..

HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!

HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE POWER (EDSA) REVOLUTION OF THE PHILIPPINES!

Now THAT is what the month of February is all about! In celebration of our peoples’ rich histories of struggle, sacrifice, and determination, I’d like to share some black, brown, and yellow people’s artists that have served as a source of inspiration for me. Artists who have given their art as a tool to arouse, organize, and mobilize people, and show the power that art can have to fight/change/question the systems that oppress us.

Emory Douglas

Emory Douglas was a member of the Black Panther Party, and sat as the organization’s Minister of Culture. His revolutionary artwork filled the BPP’s newspaper and served as graphic agitation, portraying the everyday struggles of working class and poor Black Americans. Douglas captured the rawness of the anger, pain, and strength of the ghetto, and channeled it into images that both portrayed and empowered a generation of revolutionaries. Some of my favorite Douglas artwork:

Hu Ming

Hu Ming a woman who joined the communist army of China at the age of 15. Having grown up during the Cultural Revolution, much of Ming’s artwork depict women soldiers going about their regular day serving in the duty of the army. The twist is that the depiction of the women showcase their femininity, sexuality, and often exotic nature. At first, I didn’t know what to think about Hu Ming’s artwork, but her striking style and unique content is hard to hate. Asian women are often exoticised as submissive, sexual creatures, and the juxtoposition of this very notion with the work of the army strikes up interesting conversation.

Papo De Asis

Papo De Asis was a significant artist who found his artistic identity during the tumultuous Marcos dictatorship. A founding member of Kaisahan (Unity), Papo painted murals protesting martial law and the atrocities being committed by the dictatorship. Papo was not only an artist, but an organizer as well, leading art workshops, contributing his artwork for banners, murals for conferences and gatherings, as well as educational materials. Being a renowned artist, Papo’s artwork can be found at the Philippine National Museum in Manila, and has had numerous opportunities to become rich from his artwork. Instead, Papo remained committed to serving and organizing his community, and sharing his passion for art and social change with everyone he encountered.

Happy February, everybody!

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