This course examines intersections of artistic production and radical politics in the 20th and 21st centuries. It addresses art from across a wide array of media: street art, film, theater, poetry, performance art, fiction, graphic arts, digital media, muralism, and urban interventions. We will examine artistic movements and artists from across the Americas, including revolutionary Latin American theater, film, and literature; the Chicano Movement and its queer dissidents; the Nuyorican Movement; street performance and theater produced in the context of dictatorship; and activist art from the 21st century. Through its focus on the relationship between art and politics, this course also introduces students to foundational concepts related to the relationship between culture and power more broadly.
Students complete writing assignments in which they analyze artworks (e.g. visual art, literary works, film, etc.) they select from among those discussed in the course. Course assignments also include a creative project: working individually or in groups, students will apply strategies of political art making discussed in the course to design their own artistic project in a medium of their choice.
No prior knowledge of this topic or of the visual arts is expected.