237.130_A3_W12_Publishable blog post

My work responds to police brutality, i was heavily inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The movement is important as it provides clear evidence of the discrimination and inequality against African Americans within the States. BLM is a representative collective which supports all unequal groups. Matt McGorry tweeted “BlackLivesMatter doesn’t mean other lives don’t. Like people who say “Save The Rainforests” aren’t saying “Fuck All Other Types of Forests”. The movement seeks to diminish the unequal treatment of those deemed less worthy as well as the dismantling of institutional racism and white supremacy, BLM “breaks the cycle of violence and silence” according to CNN.

According to Funk & Wagnalls police brutality is often categorised in “two forms: excessive force or unnecessary force”. BLM also raises awareness against the discrimination and fascist ideals which burden our era. Ben Shapiro exemplifies the use of fear, threat of force, and violence that equip today’s modern bully e.g. police. The consequences of power misuse and ill handling is exemplified in the deaths of African Americans such as Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray and Sandra Bland, just to name a few.

#BLM creates a communication channel from the centre of the issue to the outside world. According to The Centre For American Progress “people of color are significantly overrepresented” in the U.S. prison population, making up more than “60 percent of the people behind bars”. Statistics also point towards a disproportionate amount of affect towards Coloured people in the so-called “drug war”. As a collective global society, we all hold a proportion of social responsibility that is suppose to prevent such matters from developing and corrupting. Mirzoeff describes visual activism as the conversion of pixels to actions, #BlackLivesMatter does exactly just that. By creating an online presence, most notably on Twitter, they enabled themselves to be in two places at once, they created a global and local figure. Using the rapid expansion of social media, they chose a platform that appealed to the younger population – the leaders of tomorrow. As the online presence spilled out onto the streets, visual activism was undertaken (297).

igcaiwbi.jpgBanksy. If Graffiti Changed Anything. Digital image. Unurth. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2016.

The illegality of street art stems from the power of the medium, street art reaches all classes of society, it stimulates viewing from beyond the walls of a gallery. It places art into context. Street artists like Banksy, Sampsa, and Ganzeer observe, analyse, and reflect today’s world, their work provokes thought in an immediate context. Mirzoeff calls the suppression of street art, Artocracy (261), one can only assume this is an attempt to retain power over the people. After all, anything that has a cause and effect has the power to sway people’s opinions and thoughts, thus in turn out powering the government and authorities. Street art’s power will always remain with the people, the bigger the audience the bigger the effect.

IMG_9946.JPGWu, Annie. Bullseye Angel. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2016.

The idea behind my work is to create a stencil set signifying the innocence of those unarmed and fatally shot. The angel represents youth and innocence in death, the bullseye refers to the police officers mentality. The restricted usages of white and black represents race, and the bold red represents blood. The unity of the colours was inspired by the line – we all bleed the same colour. Using a stencil allows the artwork to be reproduced in different areas, thus raising more awareness against the issue of police brutality.

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237.130_A3_W12_Publishable blog post

237.130_A3_W11_Publishable blog post

Question – with supporting evidence (research and images of art/design practices)

What is #blacklivesmatter and what does it communicate about our global society?

Throughout American history, discrimination has hindered the devolvement of safe and equal societies, in particular, the discriminations towards African American communities has had a substantial impact. #BLM creates a communication channel from the centre of the issue to the outside, it creates awareness regarding police brutality and begins to dismantle institutional racism and white supremacy. According to The Centre For American Progress, “people of colour are significantly overrepresented” in the U.S. prison population, making up more than 60 percent of the people behind bars”. Statistics also point towards a disproportionate amount of affect towards Coloured people in the so-called “drug war”. As a collective global society, we all hold a proportion of social responsibility that is suppose to prevent such matters from developing and corrupting. #BlackLivesMatter speaks for all inequality, and through education, it generates change.

Taking advantage of the rise of social media #BlackLivesMatter created a platform appealing to the younger generations, the generations that would eventually run today’s society. In an effort to create change, it must start with the children of the world – the leaders of tomorrow. The creation of #BlackLivesMatter was founded on Twitter, after “trending”, the movement gained momentum and soon became a heavily publicised movement which eventually outstretched to far corners of the world. The sheer mass of supporters created a sense of safety in numbers, the collective power of people’s voices is more influential than any medium.

002_rdny.jpgBanksy. Piñata. Digital image. Banksy. Banksy, n.d. Web. 8 June 2016.

This artwork by Banksy represents the maltreatment of Rodney King, who was violently beaten by LAPD, and recorded by witnesses. On the 20th anniversary of King’s beating, Bansky reproduced a screenshot in a similar fashion to the recording.

Banksy uses the Piñata to represent King, Banksy encourages the reflection of the incident as well as the “dehumanisation of others leads to self-dehumanization”. The police are seen in a position of power, they out number and tower over the piñata, signifying vulnerability. Stencil revolution states, “The different colors on the pinata represent how people of all colors become victims of the erosion of civil liberties”.

igcaiwbiBanksy. If Graffiti Changed Anything. Digital image. Unurth. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 June 2016.

The illegality of street art stems from the power of the medium, street art is able to reach all classes of society, it stimulates viewing from beyond the blank cube walls of a gallery. It places art into context, rather than the other way round. Street artists observe, analyse, and reflect the context and surroundings today, their work provokes thought in an immediate context. The suppression of street art is an attempt to retain power over the people, anything that has a cause and effect has the power to sway people’s opinions and thoughts, thus in turn dangerous for a government’s regime. Street art’s power remains with the people, the bigger the audience the bigger the effect, and thus setting the wheels of change in motion.

Works cited

“LAPD Pinata by Banksy.” Stencil Revolution. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 June 2016.
“8 Facts You Should Know About the Criminal Justice System and People of Color.” Name. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 June 2016.
Harrington, Jaime Rojo & Steven. “The Power of Color Via Street Art, Graffiti and Murals.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 07 June 2016.
237.130_A3_W11_Publishable blog post

237.130_A3_W10_Publishable work

The question that my discussion focuses on.

What does #blacklivesmatter communicate about our global society?

New Direction – Rather than focussing on two topics; police interference and brutality. I have now realised the areas needing to be covered would be much too vast and demanding to gain in-depth knowledge about both in such a short period of time. Thus, leading to my new direction – primarily focussing on police brutality, in particular, the #Black Lives Matter movement. I have chosen this movement as it is a very current and significant issue in our contemporary world today.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is important as it provides clear evidence of the discrimination and inequality against African Americans within the States. The movement seeks to diminish the unequal treatment of those deemed “less worthy”. Movements such as BLM are present to this day in an effort to raise awareness for discrimination and fascist ideals which burden our era. Often the #blacklivesmatter movement is seen as an exclusive movement only supporting a select minority – African Americans within the U.S. However, BLM is a representative collective which supports all unequal groups. BLM brings forth the ever growing problem of racism and power abuse, especially in the ranks of police authorities towards minorities. The consequences of power misuse and ill handling is exemplified in the deaths of African Americans such as Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.

 30291412061f42b87a7cebaa16f8f343.jpg

Allen, Devin. Baltimore Riots. Digital image. Flickr. N.p., 21 Aug. 2015. Web. 1 June 2016.

“TIME’s new cover: The Roots of Baltimore’s Riot. The city’s eruption follows decades of systemic failure. Photograph by Devin Allen.” @Times Instagram caption.

Devin Allen’s Baltimore Riots photograph links the similarities between America today and America 1968 (Civil Rights Era). It brings into light, the civil right movement is reforming right at our doorstep. Once again, the people will take to the streets to speak for those who cannot, the people of the city will seek justice for those who did not have the opportunity to protect themselves.

Baltimore’s population in 2013 was 63.3 percent black according to the U.S. census, taking into account this statistic, the violent protests clearly tell an important story about the people. The majority of Baltimore do not feel safe and protected, addressing the significant problem of racism throughout the police and general society will help bring ease to those living in fear. The #blacklivesmatter movement supports free living and seeks social reform within all societies, Baltimore is simply its birthplace, as it grows and gains more media coverage, the impacts of BLM can be seen throughout on a global scale.

Works cited

YURCABA, JOSEPHINE B. “What Percent Of Baltimore Is Black? Violent Protests Have Shed Light On The City’s Racial Problems.” Bustle. N.p., 28 Apr. 2015. Web. 07 June 2016.
237.130_A3_W10_Publishable work

237.130_A3_W9_Publishable work

Introductory discussion about my “wicked idea” as well as Mirzoeff’s idea about what he proposes it means to be a citizen in this global era.

Currently, i am torn between two “wicked ideas” – Police interference with social media and police brutality.

Police brutality isn’t a contemporary issue, it’s in fact been a significant problem since the civil rights era. To fully understand where police brutality stems from it is key to having in-depth knowledge about the creation of inequality and the path it took to still be a major issue today. The analysis of “cultural logic of different social formations” provide insight to how inequality and “subsequent formations” are created (World Socialist Movement). The foundation of inequality stems from the development of Social logic, this allowed social stratification to occur, essentially separating the so-called “classes”. As these ideas progress with the generations, it was inevitable people of ranked power such as police officers would soon also develop unjust rational. Thus creating of police brutality towards those seen as “unequal” Eg. African Americans.

Police interference, on the other hand, is a contemporary issue. With the rapid rise of social media, there was originally no way to monitor the web sphere. Millions were connecting and communicating at never before seen speeds and distances, the exchange of information was unlimited. Seeing as information was so widely available this became a security problem. As technology caught up with the surge of social media, the web was no longer an unrestricted and open atmosphere, since the introduction of social media surveillance many questions have arisen. One in particular sticks out; is this a breach of our privacy?

“What does it mean to be seen to be a citizen in a global era? Who represents us at local and national levels in a globalised society? If the state cannot back up its own declarations with actions, how do we represent ourselves , visually and politically?” Mirzoeff, 290-291.

Being a global citizen means to identify yourself as part of an emerging world community as well as actively participating in it to build a better place for everyone.

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237.130_A3_W9_Publishable work