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We Keep Each Other Safe Poster Series

October 9, 2020

When the pandemic hit our communities hard in March, I went to work and created this illustration, highlighting the ways in which activists and organizers immediately sprung into action, emphasizing mask-wearing, dropping off groceries to elders and immunocompromised people, and donating to mutual aid efforts. As we find ourselves still living within a horrific pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 1 million people worldwide (213,000 in the U.S.), it’s still critical to our communities’ survival to practice safety precautions, especially when we’re in the streets demanding justice for Black lives.

In conjunction with the National Week of Mourning and Signs, Shrines, Collages, and a Mixtape: A Remote COVID Vigil in Chicago, I collaborated with 5 artists and 5 organizations to curate a series of posters highlighting what it means to “keep each other safe” in the streets. As our week of mourning is coming to an end, I am reminded of my friend Mariame Kaba’s words to me when planning an exhibition on 100 years of police violence in Chicago a few years ago. How will you move people to action after they experience art that will no doubt fill them with anger, sadness, and grief? There is no doubt there will be more losses. How do you give people tangible actions to make a difference in that weight of loss?

In collaboration with Love & Protect, Street Youth Rise Up, Lifted Voices, Axis Lab, and TM Productions, and with the artistic support of Asha Edwards, Grae Rosa, Peregrine Bermas, Nicole Trinidad, Molly Costello, and myself, here are 6 ways we can keep each other safe in the streets during COVID and beyond.

“We keep each other safe in the streets by wearing our masks” by Monica Trinidad. Image Description: On a blue and green hued galaxy background, a Black person wearing gold rimmed sunglasses is illustrated in the foreground wearing a mask & holding a sign that says Defund Police. In the background, people are marching wearing masks & holding signs.
“We keep each other safe in the streets by not talking to police” by Asha Edwards in collaboration with Love & Protect. Image Description: On a blue hued background, masses of masked people are linking arms in a circle facing outward. In the middle of the circle, more people are also linked in arms, protected by the outer circle. On the outskirts of the circles, a row of police are standing in riot gear holding batons.
“We keep each other safe in the streets by touching elbows, not hands” by Grae Rosa in collaboration with TM Productions. Image Description: On a blue background, an illustration of two people are standing next to each other, masked, and touching each others elbows. One individual is pointing to their elbow.
“We keep each other safe in the streets by redistributing resources” by Peregrine Bermas in collaboration with Axis Lab. Image Description: On a mint green background, an illustration of various masked people at tables distributing free masks, zines, food, water, and seedlings, while other masked people are collecting the free resources. A banner at a table reads “A community project: Food Not Cops. Free food, covid-19 care kits, coloring kits”
“We keep each other safe by having each others backs” by Nicole Trinidad in collaboration with Street Youth Rise Up. Image Description: An illustration of five people against a brown brick background with graffiti that reads things like Black Lives Matter and Abolish ICE; two people are in the foreground distributing face masks and hand sanitizer, while three people are in the background in a circle with their hands up, holding and burning sage, and healing together.
“We keep each other safe in the streets by building connecting beyond the physical” by Molly Costello in collaboration with Lifted Voices. Image Description: An illustration of various masked people in shades of blue hovering across the image, connected to each other by white constellations. One person is holding a sign that says “the future is collective care,” one person is sitting in a wheelchair, and other people are holding megaphones.

Thank you to Justseeds for providing the platform to release and download these posters, and to For the People Artists Collective for providing the funds to print these posters for mass distribution.

Subjects
HealthSocial Movements

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