A new exhibition titled, "Arts of Resistance: Paintings to Protest a Trump Presidency," will open in early May in Los Angeles and will visually illustrate the impact the Trump presidency has had on the Latinx community. The exhibition features 16 artists and will cover a wide range of political issues such as labor rights, the militarization of the police, mass incarceration, and environmental rights, among others.
As President Donald Trump continues to crackdown on social movements and people of color with draconian measures, art and culture collectives highlighting the struggles of Latinx communities in the U.S. are gaining momentum by making powerful reproducible resistance art against the repressive regime.
One of the collectives behind the upcoming exhibition, Dignidad Rebelde, an Oakland-based graphic arts collective of two artists Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes, focuses on colonialism, genocide, exploitation and Indigenous rights. According to the artists, by representing these movements visually through their work, they connect different communities' struggles throughout the world.
"Our art is grounded in Third World and Indigenous movements that build people’s power to transform the conditions of fragmentation, displacement and loss of culture that result from this history."
The collective uses a creative commons license for all their work for easy accessibility to activists for political rallies, meetings and protests, as well as for any other organizations.
“What we’re doing is amplifying the voices of people in our communities,” Cervantes told KQED, “Part of what’s powerful about the reproducible work is that you have a message that’s consistently being mobilized.”
The aim of the collective is to reflect the struggles, dreams and aspirations of the communities affected by Trump's clampdown and form a solidarity network of sorts. According to the collective's website, their work embeds principles of Xicanisma and Zapatismo and creates work that "can be put back into the hands of the communities who inspire it."
Another collective actively creating resistance art in the Los Angeles area is Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, an arts incubator based in San Jose that works with the local Latinx communities and has over 30,000 children, young adults, families and community residents participating in 50 programs.
The LA-based outfit called Self Help Graphics has been serving the Chicano/Mexicano community since the 1970's. A collective that has been using art for revolutionary social causes since 1937 is Mexico-city based Taller de Grafica Popular collective created by artists Leopoldo Mendez, Pablo O'Higgins, and Luis Arenal.