Since the 1950s policing has presented itself as a “thin blue line” against disorder — a dog-whistle connecting the Civil Rights Movement to the mobility of Black people and white fears about the loss of a permanent, racialized social hierarchy.
Nicholas Mirzoeff is professor of media, culture and communication at NYU. His book The Appearance of Black Lives Matter is available for free download at namepublications.org.
Why It’s Right That the Theodore Roosevelt Statue Comes Down
Maybe we can finally really look at Theodore Roosevelt statue: a monument that is all about hierarchy, created to express what American Museum of Natural History exhibits at the time called the “distinct races of mankind.”
How Adopting Antifascist Practices Can Remake Cultural Institutions
The museum in this moment can be transformed by a repertoire of antifascist actions that consists of mourning, militancy, and liberation.
How Do We Address a Statue of President Roosevelt That Affirms Racist Hierarchies?
Almost two years after the fascist rally at Charlottesville around a mediocre statue of Robert E. Lee, the American Museum of Natural History has opened its exhibition Addressing the Statue.
Lessons Learned at the Feet of Frederick Douglass
Isaac Julien advances a layered, palimpsestic view of time, not as progress but as a series of lessons. This, then is a note of what I learned.
The Politics of Seeing Within the Global City
Following the template of NYC, the primary way of seeing in the global city remains, above all, “move on there’s nothing to see here,” and the deprivation of sight is commensurate with a new kind of colonialism.
Photographs that Refuse to Stay Silent on the Palestinian Catastrophe
What stands out in Wissam Nassar’s photography of the current conflict in Palestine is the intensity with which certain bodies are articulating their task, refusing to perform disability, instead exuding capacity.
The Power of Protest One Year After the #J20 Art Strike
How have our ideas of strike and protest changed and what should we learn about their utility today?
The Historical Failure and Revolutionary Potential of Taking a Knee
When players take a knee in the manner made famous by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, they cut the white emancipator from the frame and thereby create something new: an abolition image.