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7 Historians on How the Past Can Help Us Understand the Present

Updated: Jun 17


Kimathi Donkor, Coldharbour Lane 1985 (2005). Courtesy of the artist.



Images have a great impact on how the general public comes to understand protests. In order to contextualize the role of art during times of unrest, Artnet News asked 7 historians about how art has traditionally been used to mobilize rebellions and support resistance movements. And Professor of Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, Eddie Chambers, weighs-in.


“Works of art aligned to rebellions make apparent those contradictions and fissures, and at times produce an image of a better future, both in form and substance. Instead of producing beautiful objects for consumption in the art market, they strive to produce a vision of a different world." -Sandipto Dasgupta