10 & Up
De Nichols, Diana Dagadita, Molly Mendoza, Olivia Twist, & Diego Becas
Ok, this book is the COOLEST. Art of Protest mixes together knowledge and empowerment as well as the mixed media illustrations delight the readers’ senses. A bit of history, a lot of encouragement and enthusiasm, and suggestions abound inside these covers.
If someone asked, would you be able to describe what “protest art” is? What about why art is valuable in social movements? A growing internet presence of our societal culture helps to both spread news and activism at a rapid pace. Having iconography for movements that are easily recognizable helps to grow the protest and to connect those of similar mindsets about issues.
Inside Art of Protest, there is a brief global history of different artist activists (or “artivists”), and their chosen medium. Murals, photography, poetry, and protest signs are all different ways to express political opinions (and opinions seen as political but are actually just the belief in equitable human rights) and author De Nichols gives a myriad of suggestions for budding activists that are looking to become involved in social movements.
The group of illustrators that lent their skills to this book have created a beautiful collection of artwork that could easily hang on any wall or accompany someone to a protest. The mix of different artistic styles flows together and amplifies the words and work of global activists in a way that isn’t often seen from large traditional publishers.
This book was kindly sent by Candlewick Press but all opinions are my own!
Through a multidisciplinary creative practice, De Nichols mobilizes global changemakers to design and activate ideas that address civic and social challenges.
Currently, De is Senior UX Researcher at YouTube. Prior to this role, she served as Principal of Design & Social Practice at Civic Creatives, a design strategy agency she founded in St. Louis, MO, that develops interactive experiences, tools, and initiatives to help communities engage issues of civic disengagement, youth development, social inclusion, food access and security, and arts & cultural policy.
As a social practice artist, De develops digital media and visual works that extend the impact of her design practice. She is the visioning artist of the Mirror Casket (2014), a sculpture and performance created as protest art during the 2014 Ferguson uprising, which was collected by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum for African-American History and Culture in 2016. Her projects such as Sticky Note to Self, United Story (2015), and FoodSpark integrate art and public interventions to help audiences reflect and respond to cultural microagressions facing women, queer communities, and people of color. Through her leadership with these and other works, Nichols has been deemed a national Ideas that Matter recipient, a two-time Clinton Global Initiative innovator, and a St. Louis Visionary for her community impact. She was named a 2017 Citizen Artist Fellow of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and 2018 Artist Fellow with the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis, MO, before receiving the Loeb Fellowship at Harvard.
As a national lecturer, De harnesses the creative power of design and storytelling to inspire and equip audiences to spark creative social action in the address of spatial injustices, racial division, and cultural inequities. She has opened the Clinton Global Initiative University, performed on the Millennium Stage of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and given a commencement speech for the Sam Fox School of Design at Washington University in St. Louis. Across campuses, conferences, and communities, De ignites audiences with awe-inspiring and action-driven talks.