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Posters on Racism, Sexism and Human Rights on Exhibition at Pomona College

“Courageous Voices: Posters on Racism, Sexism and Human Rights,” an exhibition of 44 political posters that deal with racism, sexism and human rights, will be on view at the Pomona College Museum of Art from March 23 through May 15 and at the Smith Campus Center Cultural Center from March 23 through May 5.

Organized by the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles, these posters are selections from a larger exhibition representing a wide range of human rights issues, both past and present, domestic and international. Racism and sexism have been emphasized because they are too often overshadowed as central human rights issues by the more dramatic images of torture, mass arrests and political assassinations that are reported daily in the press. Yet racism and sexism are even more insidious violations of human rights because they are not only manifested in illegal activities, but in the more subtle and daily dehumanization of women and people of color-the majority of the world's population.

The posters deal with both historical and contemporary events. The topics include the genocide of Native Americans, slavery, Nazi genocide of Jews, the forced relocation of Japanese-Americans into concentration camps throughout the United States, attacks on recent immigrants, sexism and homophobia. By juxtaposing old and new posters depicting the same issues, a history of the struggle is revealed. By combining domestic and international posters having the same themes, the breadth of oppositional movements is demonstrated.

The purpose of this exhibition is to inform, challenge and move the viewer. The topics are not comfortable. The problems are not new; they are ancient and contemporary. They have been experienced in different ways by all of us-as the victim, the victimizer, or both. It is an exhibition about discrimination and prejudice. It is about people who have power and those who don't. But above all it is about people who are trying to make a difference in the world. It is about the individuals and organizations who are trying to make the world a better place by protesting injustices and inequalities. It is about reclaiming the power of art to communicate and inspire people to act to make a difference. Finally, it is about images that function as instruments of liberation.

Throughout history, works of visual art have reflected society’s most troubling and divisive issues and served the cause of reform. Required by their nature and purpose to represent complex situations and messages by means of legible and accessible images, political posters communicate with a directness and immediacy that is markedly different from, and often more powerful than, the most eloquent rhetoric.

 

The Pomona College Museum of Art is located in the Montgomery Art Center, 330 N. College Avenue, Claremont. The Museum is open to the public free of charge Tuesday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The Smith Campus Center Cultural Center is located at 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont, and is open during normal working hours and by arrangement at other times.

For more information, call the Museum of Art at (909) 621-8283. Please note that Museum Director Marjorie Harth will be out of town March 23 to March 29.

The Pomona College Museum of Art collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets works of art. The Museum houses a substantial permanent collection as well as serving as a gallery for the display of temporary exhibitions. Important holdings include the Kress Collection of 15th- and 16th-century Italian panel paintings; more than 5,000 examples of Pre-Columbian to 20th-century American Indian art and artifacts, including basketry, ceramics, and beadwork; and a large collection of American and European prints, drawings, and photographs, including works by Francisco de Goya, José Clemente Orozco, and Rico Lebrun.