Strange Flowers: An Online Photography Exhibition for Anti-Racism
“Strange Flowers” is an online exhibition hosted by The Earth Issue, a platform dedicated to social justice, environmentalism, and intersectional activism in the arts. On show for the duration of Black History Month, “Strange Flowers” features a selection of photographers addressing community empowerment, equality and hope through their work. “Strange Flowers” runs till April 11 on the Earth Issue.
In June and July 2020, The Earth Issue initiated a Freedom Fundraiser in support of the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd.
The Fundraiser raised £213,000 which was donated to the US Combined Bail Funds, 4Front Project (UK), Grenfell Foundation, Division of Indian Work, Help to Amer – a Victim of Police Brutality in Israel, Women For Political Change, Go Fund Me: Denise Holmes, Rahat Covid19, Native Women’s Association Canada, Kids Of Colour, Protection Approaches, The Okra Project, UK QTIBIPOC Emergency Relief & Hardship Fund, Anti Police Terror Project, Generating Genius, UK Black Pride, The Love Land Foundation, Black Minds Matter, 11/11 Relief Fund, NATSIWA, Laundry Arts,/ Navajo Water Project, Go Fund Me: Help Aiah from Possible Eviction, Black Urban Growers, Ms Carrie Stacks’ Butterfly Fund and Save The Children – U.S. Border Crisis.
The Earth Issue now presents Strange Flowers as a curated online exhibition, comprising a selection of works donated by the artists who helped make the Freedom Fundraiser such a success.
Kay Ibrahim, Korrie Powell, Ngadi Smart, Hamed Maiye & Nwaka Okparaeke, Kin Coedel, Tawfick, Tiana Lenz, Samuel Bradley, Edmund Ross Clark, Natalia Gonzalez, Max Ferguson, Chieska Fortune Smith, Alina Negotia, Hayley Louisa Brown, Joachim Meuller-Ruchholtz, Jake Elwin, Stefan Dotter, Jermaine Francis, Siam Coy, Jack Orton, Danika Magdelena, Tereza Červeňová, Kyle Weeks, Thomas Goldblum, Kaj Jeffries, Haley Golden, Jack Johnstone, Alexia McKindsey, Alex De Mora, Joanna Cresswell, Hazel Gaskin, Liam Hart, William Spooner, Sammie Masters Hopkins, Elena Cremona, Suzie Howell, Alex Free, Arianna Lago, Andrea Fernandez, Tom Johnson, Emily Rachel Rose, Emily Hlavac, Rhiannon Adam, Sackitey Tessa, Sam Way, Emma Dudlyke, Alex Bateman, Brendan George Ko, Clare Shilland, Johanna Tagada-Hoffbeck, Laura McCluskey, Max Miechowski, Ntando Brown, Michelle Marshall, William Arcand, Yolanda Y Liou, Yuqi Wang, Markn, Denisse Ariana Perez, Agnes Lloyd, Joseph Fox, Jesse Crankson and Iman Esayo.
Flowers are symbolic, cut flowers even more so. Beauty felled in its prime. Taken without consent, their stems ripped from the earth, their connection to life severed, petals pulled and crushed underfoot. Just like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other innocent victims of racial injustice and police violence. “Strange flowers, blood on the streets” makes reference to Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, one of history’s most memorable protest songs written in 1939.
Flowers represent both war and peace. We offer flowers when we are in Love and when we wish to make amends. They are also a symbol of war; poppies are worn on remembrance day in the UK to mark the blood spilt on the battlefield in 1914 during the first world war.But another, more longstanding war has been raging since the first boats sailed across the oceans and took men from their homelands against their will.
Flowers are symbols of Life and Death. We take them to funerals and leave them at sites of tragedy to mark the loss of precious loved ones; they are left at gravesides and on shrines to show our dead that we think of them always.
Flowers show us that spring is here and the cold long winter is over, their vibrant hues pop up across meadows, filling the air with scintillating scents and drawing us into long hazy summers.
The artworks here are like these flowers: they are radical expressions of racial struggle, life and hope. The artists have created them as testimonies to the complex world we inhabit, and we are celebrating them as symbols of the struggle, the fight and the great war for equality among all.
Prints of the exhibited artworks will be available for purchase. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to causes supporting the BIPOC community through cultural, artistic and social empowerment causes and will also support the artists participating in the exhibition.