January 13, 2013

Persistence of Vision: Race, Representation, and the Politics of the Black Image in International Popular Culture with John Jennings

3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. End Time
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State

The historic outcomes of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement inspired change around the world. In today’s modern economy, international institutions continue to make major investments to create cultures of acceptance, respect and inclusion, and yet many instances of negative images of black people are found in popular media. In recent months an image with offensive, stereotypical undertones created by illustrator Stina Wirsén for a children's film in Sweden sparked a debate over artists’ rights and social injustice in children’s literature. One protester commented it was one of the worst stereotypes to which African American people have been subjected since the 1800s.

Is there a legitimate scenario where historically negative images can be used and what happens when the public good collides with artistic license?

John Jennings, a visual arts professor at the University at Buffalo, will share his research findings and facilitate a discussion to explore these issues and their problematic representations. Jennings will also propose alternatives to the use of these images and present potential solutions to prevent future tensions.

Open to: everyone