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Your silence will not protect you.


Akea BrownAlex CallenderVickie PierreLaNia Sproles


Your silence will not protect you. presents four black womyn artists from across the country: Akea Brionne Brown, Alex Callender, Vickie Pierre, and LaNia Sproles in a group show about black womyn’s experiences in America—past, present and future. The title references Audre Lorde’s seminal essay on activism, “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.”

Your silence will not protect you. addresses many silences, both historic and contemporary. This multimedia exhibition explores subtle variances and correlations across a broad spectrum of experience for black womyn today. Considering contemporary tropes concerning black womyn’s bodies, the commercialization of blackness and the continued haunting of the American past, the five artists presented content with the status quo both in broad social terms, but also within hierarchical art world structures. Here, past is more than present—it is consciousness.
Within these images the divide between nostalgia and recurrence is shortened. Overt historical references suggest not that America was once ever great, but that it has in fact always been a abhorrence of violence and injustice. History is horror.

But even still monstrous is the present. In different ways, the artists presented tease out a myriad of observations of black womyn life. In spite of the unedited truths portrayed throughout painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, mixed media and fiber, hope rings true.

Hope for a more inclusive art canon, as the strength of the work presented makes the case for increased consideration towards black womyn artists. And hope still for a future populated by equity and not only occasionally sprinkled with it. Hope for joined, raised voices to break the oppressive cycle of silence.