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Graphic Liberation pt.3: Emory Douglas


Online via the Art and Art History Department at Colgate University


A critical conversation between Emory Douglas and Josh MacPhee, engaging question around the history of political graphics, the tension within aesthetics and social movements, and a focus on the graphic imaginary of the Black Panther Party. To register for this zoom discussion, click HERE.

Emory Douglas worked as the revolutionary artist and minister of culture for the Black Panther Party in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1967 through the early 1980s. In addition to creating iconic posters and postcards, a key part of Douglas’ responsibilities included art direction, design, and illustration for the organization’s newspaper, The Black Panther. Douglas’ work has been the subject of numerous international exhibitions at the 2008 Biennale of Sydney; Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco); The African American Art & Culture Complex (San Francisco); an the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), among others. In 2015, Douglas received the American Institute of Graphic Art lifetime achievement medal.

Organized by Josh MacPhee, the 2020/21 Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Art and Art History at Colgate University.

Graphic Liberation: Emory Douglas is the 3rd in a series of live conversations between Josh MacPhee, Colgate students, and distinguished political graphics producers, exploring the role of culture in social movements and the history and evolutionary usage of political graphics.

Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, and archivist. He is a founding member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, a decentralized group of political artists from the US, Canada, and Mexico, and Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements, based in Brooklyn, NY. MacPhee is the author and editor of numerous publications, including Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now and Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture.

Presented by the Art and Art History Department and the Christian A. Johnson Foundation. The Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence was established in 1986 as a challenge grant in support of the arts at Colgate. The residency program permits one or more artists or scholars in each of the areas of fine arts, music, and theater to become part of the Colgate community every academic year.

image: Emory Douglas, “We Shall Survive,” poster on the back cover of The Black Panther

Anti-capitalismCulture & MediaHistoryRacial JusticeSocial Movements

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