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Event Title

Graffiti as the Medium for Social Progression on Monument Avenue through Richmond’s 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement

Date

4-10-2021

Location

Online

Description

Systemic racism has consistently disenfranchised and led to violence against black bodies. The removal of Confederate symbols, specifically Confederate monuments, have long been debated because of their inherent connection to racial inequality. Current social outcry through the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has revolutionized conversations regarding the removal of the statues, as people used graffiti in order to reclaim what the statues originally stood for and physically removed the statues nationwide. The reclamation of these statues through art is significant, as graffiti has long been a medium for those systemically disenfranchised. The relationship between graffiti and political dissatisfaction alongside the history of graffiti--- namely how it is used by marginalized communities as a method of regaining power and space, is a pivotal aspect of the recent movement. This was examined considering the history of Confederate monuments in Richmond, Virginia, as well as artistic guerilla intervention on these statues on Monument Avenue. It becomes clear that the use of graffiti to vandalize oppressive symbols is a popular and valid method of reclamation. More research needs to be done on the recent BLM movement and the nationwide response to these Confederate monuments.

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Poster

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Graffiti as the Medium for Social Progression on Monument Avenue through Richmond’s 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement

Online

Systemic racism has consistently disenfranchised and led to violence against black bodies. The removal of Confederate symbols, specifically Confederate monuments, have long been debated because of their inherent connection to racial inequality. Current social outcry through the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has revolutionized conversations regarding the removal of the statues, as people used graffiti in order to reclaim what the statues originally stood for and physically removed the statues nationwide. The reclamation of these statues through art is significant, as graffiti has long been a medium for those systemically disenfranchised. The relationship between graffiti and political dissatisfaction alongside the history of graffiti--- namely how it is used by marginalized communities as a method of regaining power and space, is a pivotal aspect of the recent movement. This was examined considering the history of Confederate monuments in Richmond, Virginia, as well as artistic guerilla intervention on these statues on Monument Avenue. It becomes clear that the use of graffiti to vandalize oppressive symbols is a popular and valid method of reclamation. More research needs to be done on the recent BLM movement and the nationwide response to these Confederate monuments.