June – October 2002

In the 1960s the political climate in Latin America underwent changes influenced by the Cuban revolution and the many rural and urban guerrilla movements in the region. Cultural movements, most notably the New Latin American Cinema and the new song movement, used their media to call for social and political change. The decades since this period have seen what the political theorists Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe have called “new social movements,” organized independently of the state and of political parties. Gay and lesbian organizations, women’s and feminist groups, indigenous and Black movements, green organizations, labor movements and movements of landless peasants–all of these are examples of the new social movements of Latin America. Important manifestations of their activities can be seen in ephemera–posters, pamphlets, postcards, bulletins as well as books and journals. This exhibition shows some examples of the work that has come out of grassroots organizing of different kinds in Latin America, as well as the work of an independent small press, Ediciones Vigia, in Matanzas, Cuba, known for its artists’ books in limited editions of two hundred copies.

Prepared by Alfredo Alonso, Jim Julich, Selina Lin, Stephen Dew, Dan Balderston and Mercedes Nino-Murcia with assistance from Kristin Baum and Julie Cobb Smith. Program and Poster design by Kelly C. McLaughlin.