Africa Now December 17, 2014 Reflections on Protest and the Role of Artists

Topic & Guest: Reflections on Protest and the Role of Artists with Leon Reid IV.    What is the role of artist in resistance, today?  What is protest without follow-up actions?  What is resistance without culture?  Writing on the importance of culture…in 1970, Amilcar Cabral argues that…The value of culture as an element of resistance lies in the fact that culture is the vigorous manifestation on an ideological or idealist plane of the physical and historical reality of the society that is dominated or to be dominated. 

Also writing during this period…Amiri Baraka suggests that…the actual beginnings of our expression are post Western (just as they certainly are Pre-western)…It is only necessary that we arm ourselves with complete self-knowledge the whole technology (which is after all just expression of whoever) will change to reflect the essence of a freed people…Freed of an oppressor, but also as Touré has reminded…we must be “free from the oppressor’s spirit,” as well…It is this spirit as emotional construct that can manifest as expression as art or technology or any form.

Leon Reid IV also known as VERBS also known as Darius Jones, is an artist widely credited as being among the pioneers of 21st century street art.  His career which includes un-commissioned and commissioned work…has taken him to Brazil, Germany, the UK, all over NYC, Richmond, VA, Norway. 

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