Elevate Difference

Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures, 1960s to Now

Signs of Change is both a coffee table book and a full-color history lesson. For those who prefer an alternative to a boring textbook, this book is the ticket. In September of 2008, Exit Art began a traveling art exhibit to showcase the works of artists whose materials reflect cultural and social uprisings around the world, including posters, photographs, and graffiti. The pages are full-color and let the art take center stage, but historical context is provided in a way that is educational without being stifling.

The book itself is divided into different movements, ranging from struggles for political independence to freedom from persecution and bias to women’s rights. Like the social movements themselves, the art is truly international, representing places as diverse as Eastern Europe, South Africa, Latin America, and the United States.

Without taking sides or making moral judgments, Signs of Change effectively explores each of these critical uprisings through the art that symbolizes them. The artists are as diverse as the issues and the book comes across as a comprehensive look at the people who were involved in these social movements as well as the conflicts themselves.

If you were unable to attend any of the art shows where these materials were showcased, all you need to do in order to be awed by the talent and passion of the artists is to pick up this book. And if you want to re-live your own activist days without leaving the comfort of your couch, Signs of Change is the art book for you.

Written by: Kari O’Driscoll, March 7th 2011

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