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Print Agit Prop: Three Portfolios by Josh MacPhee


Bucknell University
Bertrand Library, Lower Level I
Lewisburg, PA

I’m very excited to have an exhibition up at the Bucknell University Bertrand Library. This show is culled from three portfolios Bucknell Special Collections recently acquired: Print Agit Prop 1: An End to Prisons, Print Agit Prop 2: Climate Justice, and Print Agit Prop 3: Tired of Capitalism.


On the portfolios:
Print Agit Prop is a set of themed portfolios with prints from Josh MacPhee, spanning 25 years from 1997–2022. Subject matter reflects the social justice movements that Josh MacPhee was involved with through direct action, working with allies and organizations, and/or personal politics.

“I began producing political posters and prints in the mid-1990s. This was a simple pivot from designing materials for the punk music scene, shifting the same skill sets to bear on social justice issues. I initially worked on posters and materials for campaigns around political prisoners and challenging mass incarceration, but quickly expanded and began working with a diverse set of groups and issues, including housing struggles, immigration reform, labor unions, access to healthcare, environmental justice, police reform, right to the city, and more. Many of this print agit prop was produced in association with—and at the behest of—very specific organizations, while some of it I created on my own in hopes of contributing the struggles. Some of it I was paid for my work, others I donated my labor. Many of these posters were mass produced and widely distributed, used in public demonstrations or organized street art campaigns. All of the work speaks to the complex interplay between visual culture and social movements, and the unique place of the artist and designer in political organizing.” -Josh MacPhee

An End to Prisons is a portfolio of 28 items – 26 prints, 1 foam hand and 1 patch – engaged with the subject of mass incarceration. The work platforms Josh MacPhee’s work with anti-carceral social justice movements and organizations. Subject matter includes Attica prison, Mumia Abu Jamal, Sekou Kambui, Alexander Berkman, Covid-19, Rikers Island, and NYC Mayor Adams. Some work included was created with the Amplifier Foundation and the Katal Center for Equity, Health, and Justice.

Climate Justice is a portfolio of 14 prints with a theme of climate change and the global activism that surrounds it. Subject matter includes the natural world, environmental degradation, land autonomy, environmental capitalism, nuclear power, Ken Saro-Wiwa, the politicization of climate work, Puerto Rico, flooding and forest fires and water struggles.

Tired of Capitalism is a portfolio of 22 prints engaged with the subject of labor and capitalism. The portfolio spans two decades of Josh MacPhee’s print work surrounding class, labor and anti-capitalist movements. It is a walk-through of labor print history, including prints used in Occupy Wall Street, May Day celebrations and demonstrations. There are pieces supporting the National Education Association Representative Assembly and the Cooperative Education Association of New York City and against the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue (TABD).

Universities, libraries, and special collections interested in collecting this work can contact Booklyn for institutional sales.

AnarchismAnti-capitalismCulture & MediaEnvironment & ClimateLaborPolice & PrisonsSocial Movements

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