What does the protest history of greater Miami Florida look like?

Throughout 2018-2019, Mana Miami Artist-in-Residence Jason Lazarus invites all Miami residents to participate in a public art project entitled A CENTURY OF DISSENT: MIAMI! Participants can collaborate with the artist to remake protest signs, based on their current social justice interests, that have been used in the greater Miami, FL area throughout the past century and up to the present moment.

Visitors will be encouraged to search historic and contemporary protest images on site with Lazarus, pick a source image featuring a protest sign that reflects their social justice concerns, and alongside the artist, create a life-size recreation of the protest sign. The open public studio will host a variety of art and sign making materials to physically realize the signs as they appeared in action.

Project participants may also elect to describe a sign they previously made and used in a Miami public protest, and collaborate with Lazarus on crafting a recreation.

The unique makeup of Miami’s citizenry, political affiliations, and social justice movements, especially in the current political climate, create a unique opportunity to create a physical archive that helps to synthesize structural problems that disproportionately affect immigrants, the poor, bodies of color, and LGBTQ communities to name a few.

Free workshops for students and Miami citizens who would like to contribute to this collaborative historic archive are being offered by the artist, for 5-20 participants at a time, ranging from 1-3 hours. Questions and project inquiries are welcome: lazarus@usf.edu.

Location: Mana Contemporary Miami’s downtown space called the 777 Mall (141 E. Flagler St)

Enrique Milian, Miami resident and early project collaborator

Enrique Milian, Miami resident and early project collaborator

above:

ICE Out of Miramar (Protest Tent)

July 18, 2018

(collaboratively recreated August 2018 with Miami activist Kenneth Fuentes)

Protesters organized a sit-in at the intersection of SW 145th Avenue and SW 29th Street near the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office in Miramar (Miami metropolitan area) on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. They called for the ICE Field Office to be shut down and demanded an end to the separation of children from families during Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” policy, employing their bodies, PVC pipes covering their clasped hands, and off the shelf canopy tents that were utilized as mobile gathering places, shelters, and protest signs for aerial media coverage. Participating groups included the Miami chapter of United We Dream, National Domestic Workers Alliance, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Friends of Miami Dade Detainees, Rise UP, the Miami Workers Center and Women Working Together.

Banderas in Protest, a collaboration with Rafa Vargas Bernard
Three traditional Puerto Rican flags, paint, rope
6×30′
2018

Banderas in Protest, a collaboration with Rafa Vargas Bernard

Three traditional Puerto Rican flags, paint, rope

6×30′

2018

above:

Banderas in Protest features three-stitched together traditional Puerto Rican Flags, two of which have been intervened upon by the artists to reflect their iterations as flags of protest drawing upon the complicated history of the Puerto Rican flag.

The three iterations employed are typically understood as Pro-American (dark blue–former official tone until 1995, still substantially used by government and commerce and preferred by pro-US groups), Pro-Independence (light blue–widely used by pro-independence groups), and post-PROMESA (black-and-white–Post-PROMESA: the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2016 that undermines the island’s financial and political autonomy by cutting deeply into the public service budget, especially health care, pensions, and education).

Formal documentation by Nicole Combeau (Miami)