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Emory Douglas – Visualizing Revolution

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Emory Doublas poster

Emory Douglas joined the Panther Party in 1967 and became its Minister of Culture. His confrontational graphics defined the party’s agenda and served as front and back covers for The Black Panther, the party’s official tabloid. Throughout the late sixties, tens of thousands of his posters were wheat-pasted on walls from California to New York. Douglas developed a crude and exaggerated cartoon style that excoriated and humiliated racist politicians, landlords, capitalists, and police, portraying them as de-humanized pigs. In fact his inflammatory graphics so popularized the epithet of “pig”, that the insult became a lasting part of the American lexicon.

via art for a change

Good time to take another look at Emory Douglas’s work as a graphic designer, illustrator, poster artist, political cartoonist, and master craftsman of the Black Panther Party’s visual message. In addition to designing and laying out the weekly Black Panther newspaper, he was its main artist. Douglas used a distinctive illustration style, cartooning skills, and resourceful collage and image recycling to make the paper as explosive visually as it was verbally. He was a one-man band, showing the same versatility with different visual styles and methods as a musician who can play several instruments as well as write the music.

via bad subjects

Conceptually, Douglas’s images served two purposes: first, illustrating conditions that made revolution seem necessary; and second, constructing a visual mythology of power for people who felt powerless and victimized.

via aiga

another gallery of Emory’s art


Written by Reckon

February 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Terence McKenna on Visible Language

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Written by Reckon

February 16, 2012 at 4:57 am

Island of Flowers short film


From Mark Elrod’s blog (

The Island of Flowers (1989) is a short documentary film that I share with students at Honors Symposium. It is a provocative film that squeezes a lot into just 13 minutes.

The film was written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Jorge Furtado and has won numerous awards for short films. You can view a Portuguese language version here with English subtitles (you can skip the trailer). The version I use in class is in English and I think it works a little better than the Portuguese version.

I recently finished writing a transcript for The Island of Flowers that you can read here. Sometimes the subtitles in the online version move too fast too keep up with the images.

The film is basically about the lifecycle of a tomato that ends up a garbage dump on the Isle of Flowers, in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Once there, the tomato becomes food for pigs while the people who live there are given the opportunity to use the garbage that has been rejected by the pig’s owners.

I think The Island of Flowers is a film that raises more questions than answers, but it’s a pretty strong indictment against a system that places pigs at a higher priority of importance than human beings.

Written by Chris

January 6, 2012 at 9:32 am

Posted in Philosophy

Acoustically Visual

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