Courses / Fall 2020

Fall 2020

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    Course Number: HA 190F.1 | CCN: 31552

    Visual Activism

    Julia Bryan-Wilson

    Tuesday, Thursday: 11:00-12:30pm

    How has visual culture played a role within the social movements of the last several decades, such as #BlackLivesMatter and Extinction Rebellion? How, we might ask, is activism made visible; how does it erupt (or disappear) with collective fields of vision? Drawing upon black South African queer photographer Zanele Muholi’s term “visual activism” as a flexible rubric that encompasses both formal practices and political strategies, this lecture class interrogates contemporary visual cultures of dissent, resistance, and protest as they span a range of ideological positions.

    We will examine recent developments in and around recent intersections of art and politics from around the world, looking closely at performances, photographs, feminist dances, graffiti, murals, posters, pussy hats, street demonstrations, and graphic interventions, with a special focus on tactics of illegibility and encodedness. Topics include visual responses to structural racisms, global climate change, indigenous land rights, state violence, gentrification, forced migration, and queer/trans issues.

    This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (C) and Chronological period (III).

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