Make Session: #BlackLivesMatter Teach-In: Dismantling Anti-Black Racism in Visual Culture

Session leaders – La Tanya S. Autry (@artstuffmatters), Charles Eppley (@eppleycaEric Garner protest

The recent protests in Ferguson and other cities against police brutality demand close analysis and collective action. In particular, the role of visual culture associated with these events and within the #BlackLivesMatter movement is of immediate concern. We have designed this session for those whose interests focus on  visual culture, art history, studio art practice, art museums, material culture, and social justice. Working together in small,  topic-based groups, we will collectively address the interplay of visual culture and racialization. We will also identify resources (books, articles, videos, exhibitions, works of art, interviews, etc) and design active learning based activities to address these issues in the classroom, museum, and otherwise social or communal settings.

Possible discussion topics include: visual culture as evidence; the visual field as a racialized site; images as resistance; the blackface stereotype; and post-blackness. Identified visual culture focus will include:

  • The 2014 fatal assault on Eric Garner – video recording and non-indictment
  • Rodney King – 1991 videotaped beating, police acquitted in 1st trial
  • Trayvon Martin – hoodies symbol; skittles and iced tea; Instagram; Zimmerman paintings
  • Eric Garner – protest signs – eyes; “I Can’t Breathe”
  • Mike Brown – “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”
  • #BlackLivesMatter and #hashtag visual culture
  • Visual rhetoric of pro-police protests; “I Am Darren Wilson”

Examples of active learning activities: producing blogs; designing exhibitions and websites; Wikipedia edit-a-thons; and creating photo stories, videos, and films.

We will collect and share our findings on a publicly accessible Google doc. Participants are encouraged to live-tweet the teach-in (#CAA2015, #BlackLivesMatters, #thatcamp).
Facebook page – #BlackLivesMatter at CAA 2015