Protest signs and artwork on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, Date: 25 October 2020

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Title

Protest signs and artwork on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, Date: 25 October 2020

Coverage

H Street NW and 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C., USA

Description

Protest signs and posters on the Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence, located on the north side of Lafayette Park in Washington D.C.

As if parodying election signs there is a white poster which reads “Trump COVID Takes Americas Breath Away! 2020” it has a red outline as well as four stars above and below the text with an infection symbol between the two stars on the top and bottom.

There are three posters, and one reads “This building is of the center of FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY. TRUMP has turned the White House into a cesspool of COVID. Vote Democrat”. Underneath this is an ombré purple and red Biden/Harris campaign poster with white text that reads “Vote! Text Vote to 30330” underneath this reads “Biden Harris”. To the right of this poster reads “McConnell: Relief to People in need, not blank checks to billionaires” which is held up with green and blue tape.

There is a black poster that has the word “Demand” repeatedly spray painted on it and layered on top of this text is blocky white text which reads “Black Lives Matter”. To the right of the text is a photograph of George Floyd's last words combined together in a way to create a headshot of George Floyd himself.

There are four posters on a pillar. The first poster reads “VOTE our lives depend on it!”. Next to it there is another poster that is handwritten and reads “Silence is Violence” with violence captured in a red box and on the far side of the poster are small letters which reads “Silence is complicity”. Underneath this poster is a black poster that reads “Who do you protect?? Black Lives Matter” and then in blue paint over this “ACAB” [All Caps are Bastards]. Underneath this poster are words spray painted on the pillar which starts off as “Is it a coincidence…” and then a poster is taped over the rest of the statement and in green, purple, and gold paint a poster reads “Black Lives Have Always Mattered Let's Act Like It!”

There are three posters on the fence with a cardboard poster that is covered with a lot of tape and reads “Good Trouble” that has been spray painted with black and silver and there's a sticker next to it that reads “Trump/Pence OUT NOW” and it has a website under that which reads Refusefacism.org #OUTNOW!”. There is a poster underneath that reads “Being Black in America is Exhausting. Y'all want us to Sing, Dance, Play Football, Shoot Basketball, Be Target Practice and be QUIET. Signed, An Exhausted Black Folk”. Next to this is an image of old slave shackles that have been shown on a poster and reads “Your Ancestors Have A Message…VOTE!” and the shackles are in the shape of a V for “vote” and then there is a small pink flower in the corner.

Source

The Black Lives Matter Memorial fence was a temporary chainlink fence installed in the area north of Lafayette Park and the White House from June 2, 2020, until January 30, 2021. The fence prevented public access to the area, and it also served as an important site of protest and self-expression.

Activist Nadine Seiler played a crucial role in protecting and caring for the fence, along with Karen Irwin and other activists in a loosely-formed group informally known as the "Guardians of the Fence." Nadine Seiler and Aliza Leventhal systematically documented the fence over the course of months, and Seiler became the de facto curator of the fence.

Additional information:

Library of Congress blog post "Protest Preserved: Signs from D.C.'s Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence"

D.C. Public Library Black Lives Matter Memorial Fence Artifact Collection”

Rights

Photographer: Aliza Leventhal

Publisher

Urban Art Mapping

Date

Contributor

MM

Geolocation

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