March 2019 Exhibit:
Throughout history, people have used the arts as a way to spread ideas and discuss complex problems. Revolutionaries have often used posters and political cartoons to spread their messages quickly to a large audience. Frequently, the messages have involved fighting corruption in government, poverty, and a lack of personal freedoms & representation.
Not all protests end in revolutions. Some social problems can be resolved with civil resistance and negotiations, such apartheid or farmworkers strikes, or Vietnam/the draft. Sometimes the powers that be may buckle to social pressure and coercion. Demonstrations, petitions and vigils, strikes, boycotts, sit-ins, and occupations are alternatives to violence. But they all share revolutionary ideas or a paradigm shift in thought.
Violent revolution seems to depend on how much a government is willing to truly listen and negotiate with the demands of its people, and on whether the military sides with citizens or those in power during conflict. If there is a large amount of resistance and none of it is resolved in a peaceful way, if that discontentment and anger grows unchecked (and the institutions holding the country together are weak), then violence and civil war tends to be the result.
This exhibit covers revolutionary and protest artwork from the United States, Russia, France, South Africa, Cuba, Syria, and Egypt.