The Art of the Revolution
by Annika Inampudi, Editor in Chief
I think a lot about how art is a mirror. In the wake of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, I've been seeing a lot of artists throwing the world that they see in front of them on the canvas. Pictures of protests colored over with the clean, minimalist style of the digital age. Statues of Confederate leaders spray painted over with messages from the movement. The fence in front of the White House covered with protest art. As an artist myself, I've found that the stories I write are reflections. Of myself, of the world around me. Right now, there are hundreds of Instagram graphics explaining systemic racism, complete with quirky fonts and bright colors. Teenagers are making TikToks about the protests with stunning production quality.
Artists are always at the forefront of a revolution. Think about the Beatnik writers in the sixties, the art depicting the French revolution centuries ago. Whatever we write, paint, photograph, or depict is a product of our time. The Bitter Fruit Review has led a weeklong campaign of promoting black artists and storytellers on our Instagram all week. We are trying to uplift those voices that have been sidelined throughout history. There are many voices to a revolution, but let's make room for the voices who have been hurt before we speak our own truths. I implore you to support the work of these revolutionary artists not only now, but going forward as well. Actively seek out the work of Black artists. Show that there's a demand for their work. People have been putting together lists of movies, books, paintings, etc. for people to educate themselves. Don't stop consuming that art after the revolution is over.
So, you might be asking: where do I start? There are tons of online resources that have come out, especially in the last week or so. You could check out this amazing collection of Black revolutionary texts. Or, you can donate to these funds that support Black artists. Of course, there's always Zoe Amira's amazing youtube video that both exhibits Black artwork and allows you to donate by views.
A last note from us: consume Black art responsibly. Understand that movies like The Help, Green Book, and The Blind Side promote white savior ideals and are told through the white perspectives. Instead, opt for Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th or Spike Lee's movie Do The Right Thing. Listen to these stories, even when they might be uncomfortable to watch. Be active in the way you watch them. Take these messages into your life. Remember them even after the revolutionary spirit fizzles out, even after the protests stop. Art is a mirror. We can only reap its purpose if we look straight at it.