New Art on Market Street Poster Series Celebrates 50 Years of Bay Area Activism

From the occupation of Alcatraz to Occupy San Francisco, Sanaz Mazinani’s posters link the historic and contemporary social movements that have shaped our history

On view July 15 – October 4, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, July 3, 2013 – Ever since moving to San Francisco in 2009, Iranian-born Sanaz Mazinani has been fascinated by the narrative of political struggles and the ways in which the people of San Francisco have played a major role in advancing important social issues, such as free speech and LGBTQ rights. Celebrating Bay Area Activism, a series of six posters on view along Market Street from July 15 – October 4, 2013, was inspired by the rich lineage of social activism in San Francisco. The posters blend historical images from social movements of the past 50 years with recent images from more contemporary events.

According to Mazinani, “I am especially thrilled to be living in the US when the Occupy Movement has awakened political activism for an entirely new generation. The public sphere is not only one of the most relevant spaces to inform art, but also one of the most poignant in which to make art.”

“It is exciting that the display of the Celebrating Bay Area Activism poster series should follow on the heels of the Supreme Court’s historic decision regarding DOMA and same-sex marriage in California,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny. “This project is a wonderful tribute to those who have waged the hard fought battles that exemplify democracy and have changed our country for the better.”

Each poster displays a networked pattern of images from the past and present. By coupling, repeating, mirroring and multiplying source material, Mazinani creates a kaleidoscopic vision of the struggles, which have left their mark on society and collective consciousness.  Each poster includes a QR code that takes viewers to a website where they can access the source images and more detailed information about the depicted events.

Anti-War combines historic photographs for anti-Vietnam War protests in San Francisco from the `60s with recent photographs of demonstrations against the Iraq War. Environment features an image from the first Earth Day held in New York City in 1970, which developed out of a UNESCO peace conference held in San Francisco a year earlier, and an image from Earth Day 2013 in San Francisco as well as the green Market Street bike lanes.  Merging historic and recent photographs of activists protesting for workers’ rights, racial equality and equal access to opportunity, Equality honors the Bay Area’s prominent role in advancing racial and socio-economic change. The Bay Area’s Free Speech Movement is memorialized in Freedom of Expression, which includes images of students at UC Berkeley in 1964 and photographs of recent demonstrations against government restrictions on the internet, copyright laws and censorship. Occupy combines historic photographs from the 1964 Occupation of Alcatraz with recent imagery from the 2011 Occupy Movement in San Francisco. LGBTQ Rights includes an image of the 1989 Pride Parade in San Francisco with recent photographs from pride events and demonstrations in San Francisco.

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