Protest Matters! is an interactive temporary museum of protest objects that will run in conjunction with the AAA meetings in Washington DC next month. The project invites academics, activists, and local community members to come together and consider the dynamic relationships that exist between art and activism, feelings and things, politics and materiality, and creativity and community, all in the context of social justice action.
Items already uploaded to the Protest Matters! Virtual Museum include the following, shared with Allegra Lab readers — who are invited to contribute their own objects to the collection:
Item #1: "Pride = Protest" sign. Washington, DC.
Item #2: "Anthropology Read In" poster. Kalamazoo, MI.
Item #3: "The Unquotable Trump" zine. San Francisco, CA.
Item #4: "mi existir es resistir" tee. Washington, DC.
Item #1: "Pride = Protest" sign. Washington, DC.Contributor's comment: "I helped to make this sign during one of many art builds that we organized in the lead up to the NJNP actions. Incredible banners and placards – including a set of stencil-made ones – came out of the process, but it also served as a space where folks could get to know each other, share ideas, and build trust in advance of the actions. I made good friends there in a way that's not possible though meetings and actions alone. I didn't actually carry the sign in the protest – someone else did – but that's the spirit of collective action, behind the scenes as well as out in front."
Item #2: "Anthropology Read In" poster. Kalamazoo, MI.Contributor's comment: "This is the poster advertising a read in of Foucault's "Society Must be Defended" at Kalamazoo College on Inauguration Day. [Part of a nationwide project (https://savageminds.org/tag/society-must-be-defended/).]"
Item #3: "The Unquotable Trump" zine. San Francisco, CA.Contributor's comment: "Aside from being a cherished gift, I consider the document an important sign of the times, something to look back on years from now. Moreover, the comic is an interesting mix of genres: super hero illustration + direct quotes. The combination challenges the oft-heard mantra "we need a hero!" while also using illustration to make the Trump campaign appear larger than life, a feeling many shared during and after the presidential race."
Item #4: "mi existir es resistir" tee. Washington, DC.Contributor's comment: "To me, this t-shirt represents life at the intersections. Growing up undocumented and queer, I often felt like I had to ration my identities. Am I an immigrant today? Am Polish-American? Am I gay? Am I the daughter of a domestic worker? Or perhaps any other identity that was imposed. I think this t-shirt rejects the notion that you have to choose."