Ahead of the Week of Solidarity to Support Arrestees starting this Saturday, we present a portfolio of art produced to benefit J20 arrestees in New Orleans. This project offers an inspiring model for how to bridge the gap between art and revolution, providing material assistance to those on the front lines of the struggle for a better world while spreading visions of what that struggle and that world might look like. You can purchase print copies of the posters here.
Read on for more perspective from the participants. We will continue to publish examples of the intersections between creativity and revolt here at the CrimethInc. Arts Desk. Go ahead and share your examples with us wherever they appear.
NOLA J20 Legal Support: The Visual Front
We started with a call for submissions, asking all the visually-minded comrades we could think of if they would be willing to submit work that we could print and sell for legal support. In exchange, all of the artists would receive a portfolio of all the posters submitted. We’ve adapted this portfolio model, which comes to us from the fine art world, to suit our own purposes. Ultimately, we ended up with a really solid body of work. We are currently selling the individual pieces as well as the portfolio online. We also tabled at a recent arrestee fundraising event and have plans to organize more events in the future.
As for the relationship between making art and making revolution, each of the contributors has worked out their own particular praxis and I wouldn’t want to speak for them. However, this poster campaign was a simple way to harness everyone’s talents within the so-called market to raise a bunch of money for legal support. It’s not a bank expropriation, but it’s been pretty successful in raising funds and getting cool agitational graphics out there so far. Personally, I have found it reassuring and inspiring that visual culture is still important to folks and I am excited to see it play an ever-expanding role in the social movements to come.
The Original Call for Submissions
On the night of the 2017 inauguration,15 comrades were arrested during a march through New Orleans’ French quarter. Faced with a litany of serious charges, they are some of the first casualties of this new phase of repression. Sadly, they will likely not be the last. We are calling on you, our fellow visual cultural workers, to help produce a body of work trumpeting our rejection of all facets of the state’s violence, whether that be the prison system locking our brothers and sisters up, the police brutalizing us in the streets, or their fascist dogs shooting us while we take back space.
We are asking for work that can be formatted to 11×17 and ultimately screen-printed. (Please keep it between 1 and 3 layers if possible.) We plan to sell this work together as a portfolio.
All funds raised will go directly towards the legal funds of the arrestees.
-Your comrades at the mouth of the Mississippi
For more artwork to benefit J20 arrestees, you can choose from an array of t-shirts featuring famous scenes from the 2017 Inauguration, such as Richard Spencer getting punched and the burning limousine.