The topic i chose to tackle was police brutality, in particular, the Black Lives Matter Movement. This movement stems from decades of institutionalised racism and white supremacy, it seeks to end the inequality that hinders our societies. BLM is often seen as exclusive to one race, but in reality, it represents all who are treated or have been treated unequally. Street art was my method of visual activism, i wanted to use a medium which encompasses all classes. The angel represents innocence and death, while the bullseye clearly communicates “target”. White and black representing races, and red representing the blood shed. After all, we all bleed the same colour.
Focus research – The importance of understanding the context #BLM was created in.
Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Samuel DuBose. We know their names. Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. People are angry and they have a right to be angry. We should not fool ourselves into thinking that this violence only affects those whose names have appeared on TV or in the newspaper. African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police… – Bernie Sanders.
Influences – To understand the context of #BLM fully, it is vital to also understand the black civil rights movements throughout the U.S history. In today’s world, racism and inequality still exist. Through technology and social media, racist actions carried out by those of authority have been captured and shared globally, raising awareness for the cause. Police brutality has been brought forth into the light, along with patterns and trends of police activity such as shootings and harassment have now been identified. The targeting of African Americans and minorities is a major abuse of authority, as a public servant, police are meant to protect and serve.
“Timeline.” Civil Rights Movement Turning Point. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2016.
Impacts & consequences – There are pros and cons of #BLM.
Interesting read –
Ben Shapiro’s book Bullies examines how the left’s culture of fear and intimidation silences Americans.
“Ben Shapiro shows once and for all that the left is the single greatest source of bullying in modern American life” (Sean Hannity)
He exemplifies the “bullies” in today’s society, as well as the use of fear, threat of force, and violence that equip today’s modern bully.
Shapiro’s ideas can be applied to today’s police officer, the ill treatment of minorities is societies form of schoolyard bullying. #BLM opposes the bully, eventually standing up and fighting back.
“Bullies.” Staff Picks: Fiction & Nonfiction Books, Audio Books, Bestsellers & More. N.p., July 2014. Web. 01 June 2016.
Incarceration statistics – In relation to police brutality, where does incarceration sit?
Statistics show that African-American males are more likely to be incarcerated than the average white male. Police brutality and incarceration intersect as police are meant to protect and serve thus meaning to apprehend the dangerous and harmful. Prison is the final destination for those criminals deemed dangerous and harmful for society. The brutality of police stems from racism, and this continues throughout the sentencing process, the inequality that troubles our society is often enforced by those trusted with a higher power e.g. Police officials.
Incarceration is not an equal opportunity.
Mass incarceration in the U.S., Vlogbrothers.
We should really be focussing correcting rather than punishing on in correction facilities, as the objective is to eventually reintroduce these criminals back into society.
The Vlogbrother’s video exemplifies how prisons are not a permanent solution. The “failed experiment” costs extensive amounts of money to run. By treating prisons as permanent homes for criminals, we are essentially hindering our own society’s future, and in turn ourselves. These criminals are people, they offer skills to our communities, even if they themselves don’t know it.
Agency can refer to two things, it can be a business that provides a specific service. Or it can be a government department that oversees a particular activity or area.
Social responsibility directly translates to one’s responsibility to the environment and community, to act in the best interests of those around them. Social responsibility also ties in with ethics and sensitivity toward social, cultural, economic and environmental issues.
Transformative practices refer to undertaking activities and pursuits which develop and improve something e.g. yourself, the community. This can be related to transformative learning which leads to perspective transformation. This includes psychological (understanding of the self), convictional (belief systems), and behavioral (lifestyle) changes. This requires critical analysis of interpretations to then reinterpret their experience to make sense through a different process, eventually grasping an unforeseen perspective.
My audience – As this is issue affects almost everyone in our world, it should resonate and connect with all. This includes the minorities and the majorities among us. I hope my work speaks to many and becomes a two-way conversation, causing the viewer to question and examine the reality they live in.
Purpose – I aim to provoke thought and stimulate analysis of today’s justice systems as well as society’s norm. I aim to also gain in-depth knowledge on this seemingly contemporary movement. Emphasis on seemingly, as the inequality of African Americans projected by police, have been a prominent issue throughout history. I hope i can de-stigmatise the issue and bring about change.
Below is an interesting point made by a protester. Often the #blacklivesmatter movement can be seen as only caring about the African Americans within the U.S. but after research, they are really a representative collective which supports all unequal groups.
“Black Lives Matter: A Mini Deconstruction.” Odyssey. N.p., 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 01 June 2016.
Influential events to note leading up to the creation of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The shootings of unarmed African Americans by authority figures in the U.S., especially the youth.
In particular, the Ferguson unrest following Michael browns death.
“Hands up, don’t shoot”
“I am Mike Brown”
Darren Wilson fatally shot unarmed Brown sparking existing tensions in the predominantly black city, resulting in civil unrest. The images below, exemplify the excessive force used on Brown. Wilson was not charged.
Trayvon Martin (unarmed) fatally shot by a neighbourhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.
“Ferguson Protests: What We Know about Michael Brown’s Last Minutes.” BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 June 2016
Peggy Hubbard’s response to unrest in Ferguson – exemplifies the consequences and the negative side of the BLM movement.
Black civil right figures to take note of; #BLM is essentially is another civil rights movement.
Claudette Colvin – 15-year old student arrested for her refusal to give up a bus seat in 1955. Nine months earlier than Rosa Park’s refusal to give up a bus seat. I believe both Colvin and Park’s actions contributed to the Montgomery Bus Boycott, ending segregation on buses.
Ruby Bridges – First coloured child to desegregate an all-white public school in Lousiana during the New Orleans school desegregation crisis in 1960.
Martin Luther King – American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Assassinated, April 4, 1968, Memphis, Tennessee, United States. King was the head of SCLC. He was also key in ending legal segregation of African-American citizens in the U.S (most notable in the South). As well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Thurgood Marshall – First African-American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Repercussions of #BLM? YoungTurks response to Bill O’Reilly: Black Lives Matter is Killing Americans.
“race hustling” – systematic racism.
The importance of socioeconomic status among the coloured people of America.
Facts suggest unarmed shooting victims are more likely to be a minority.
“Millions of people think they are being hunted down by the police”.
This is not a race war – this is about people living in an unmilitarized country and not having to live in fear.
Police are public servants, they are a trusted with authority and power because they are allowed to make life or death calls. Thus meaning they have to hold a higher level of responsibility. “PROTECT AND SERVE”.
Focus research & consequences of moving from general to specific.
Consequences of moving from general to specific include difficulty in seeing the bigger picture in relation to the rest of the world and reality itself. Also, factors which contribute to the specific idea/issue are often overlooked, thus forgetting important supporting evidence.
I have been exploring how police interference and brutality intersect, especially in regards to the art world. Police interference, including the monitoring of social media, has driven artists to become more anonymous, especially among the street scene. Artists like Ganzeer and JR, use street walls as their gallery. Some could argue they remain anonymous due to the often illegal medium of their art, but i chose to believe they anonymity stems from the suppression of freedom of speech, especially about current world issues, e.g. police brutality.
Does this mean no more freedom of speech?
Banksy. One Nation Under CCTV. Digital image. Hypebeast. N.p., 15 Apr. 2008. Web. 2 June 2013.
Goold, Benjamin J. “Public Area Surveillance and Police Work: The Impact of Cctv on Police Behaviour and Autonomy.” Public Area Surveillance and Police Work: The Impact of CCTV on Police Behaviour and Autonomy. ∗(n.d.): 191-203. Surveillance & Society. Web. 26 May 2016.
Geofencing – “A geofence is a virtual barrier. Programs that incorporate geo-fencing allow an administrator to set up triggers so when a device enters (or exits) the boundaries defined by the administrator, a text message or email alert is sent.” Margaret Rouse.
Rouse, Margaret. “What Is Geo-fencing (geofencing)? – Definition from WhatIs.com.” WhatIs.com. N.p., Sept. 2015. Web. 25 May 2016.
Citizenship refers to the process of becoming a citizen. A citizen must actively participate in society. Gaining citizenship requires a sound understanding and engagement with the main pillars of the countries governing system eg. democracy. As well as the politics, economy and local law.
A change agent is someone within or outside an organisation which helps it undergo transformations, usually to improve the organisation. A change agent has duties which focus on organisational effectiveness, improvement, and development. Often these agents focus on the people and their interactions within the organisation’s environment. Strong relationships are often needed as well as a clear vision. Trustworthiness, patience, and persistence are vital to being a change agent.
Cultural critics literally are critics of culture. They seek to understand the social, political, historical, and artistic contexts in which a given text was written. As well as the conditions in which the text was distributed under.
Protest; actively react to something/someone in disagreement. Often related to politics. Protests can range from one person to many hundreds.
Resistance is the refusal to accept something or someone. Usually occurs when there is disapproval among the people.