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

I can think of a lot of people who might appreciate this book!

What a wonderful gift this would be for any of us who lived through the times, took part in our neighborhoods, cities and state capitols. Many (not I) were there at the Lincoln Memorial when King spoke, others (my ex-husband) picketed San Clemente (and if you don't know what that is, you probably won't be interested in this book), and many, many, many of us wrote thousands and thousands of letters on manual typewriters and by hand to our Congressional representatives, the leaders of countries across oceans, to state attorneys general, to local newspapers and city councils; some of us went on record, others worked behind the scenes. That's only here in the United States. That this book covers movements around the world, well, priceless.

The artwork, some of it kitchen table, some of it by artists who became world famous, supported us all, gave us courage, brought color to our worlds that sometimes seemed bleak beyond measure.

Thank you for reviewing this treasure.