May 11th 2022

Join teacher, embodiment coach, writer, and facilitator Prentis Hemphill as they explore strategies toward healing amid the enduring effects of racial trauma. Hemphill will share their work in this space, offering reflections on opportunities to heal and grow, even as ongoing realities challenge and oppose. Followed by a conversation with Melissa Blount, artist/activist/psychotherapist and member of The Block’s Evanston Community Advisory Group for A Site of Struggle.

Please note: this program will include brief embodied practice exercises, and we invite you to partake in physical activity as comfortable and able.

This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition A Site of Struggle: American Art against Anti-Black Violence, with generous promotional co-sponsorship from Northwestern’s Offices of Counseling and Psychological Services and Social Justice Education.



How has art been used to protest, process, mourn, and memorialize anti-Black violence within the United States?

Originating at Northwestern’s Block Museum of Art  A Site of Struggle explores how artists have engaged with the reality of anti-Black violence and its accompanying challenges of representation in the United States over a 100 + year period.

Images of African American suffering and death have constituted an enduring part of the nation’s cultural landscape, and the development of creative counterpoints to these images has been an ongoing concern for American artists. A Site of Struggle takes a new approach to looking at the intersection of race, violence, and art by investigating the varied strategies American artists have used to grapple with anti-Black violence, ranging from representation to abstraction and from literal to metaphorical. The exhibition focuses on works created between the 1890s and 2013—situating contemporary artistic practice within a longer history of American art and visual culture. It foregrounds African Americans as active shapers of visual culture and highlights how art has been used to protest, process, mourn, and memorialize anti-Black violence.

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