Yasmin Roberts and Natalie Marsh, WORLD IS WATCHING, 2018, multimedia. Courtesy of Gina Lamb, Visiting Associate Professor of Media Studies. http://www.makesomenoise.online/world-is-watching.html

MANIFESTO: Eight-Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds

“The striking commonality between artistic and political manifestos is their intention to trigger a collective rupture, and—like almost all manifestos in the past, which took the form of a group statement—assume the voice of some collective ‘we’”.

Hans Ulrich Obrist1

A collaboration between Pitzer College Art Galleries, Pitzer’s Writing Center, and President Oliver’s Pitzer-wide racial justice initiative, Manifesto: Eight-Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds invites the Pitzer Community to participate in a collective project to create manifestos. The numerical title of this project references and remembers the last brutal eight-minutes and forty-six seconds of George Floyd’s life, the Black man brutally killed by a White Minneapolis police officer on May 29, 2020. More expansively, Eight-Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds addresses not only systemic racism and police brutality, but the ingrained inequality that persists in our judicial, educational, and economic systems that institutionally subjugate Black, Indigenous, and all Peoples of Color (BIPOC), perpetuating a legacy of inequality. Yet these declarations will respond not only to critical issues of the racial, social, and gender biases of the present, but suggest new ways of reimagining the world towards a more emancipatory and equitable future. The time for speaking out is now. Whatever part of the country or world that you are inhabiting this semester, join the call and embolden your voice by creating a manifesto in response to this call for justice and equality.

A manifesto is a public declaration, of conditions, objectives, and strategies. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the term manifesto derives from the Latin noun manus (hand) and Latin adjective infestus, meaning hostile. From this explanation one can easily picture a shaking fist; Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, or James Baldwin’s, “And once you realize that you can do something, it would be difficult to live with yourself if you didn’t do it.”2 Or Maximilien Robespierre declaring, “The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”3 Or the succinct and powerful admonition of Angela Davis, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”4 Or Cesar Chavez, “Non-violence is not inaction, non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.”5 Or the plain logic of Harvey Milk, “It takes no compromising to give people their rights. It takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no survey to remove repressions.”6 Manifest justice, manifest honesty, manifest solidarity. MANIFESTO.

Form:

  • Manifestos can take the form of a written statement on any surface including paper, wall, or side-walk. They can be tapped to a tree, wrapped around a stone, or manifest as a letter or postcard. They can also take the form of videos.
  • A hard copy of your manifesto can be sent to Pitzer, c/o Pitzer College Art Galleries, to be installed on Campus
  • Or, a photo (use your phone) or video of your manifesto can be emailed to: pitzer_galleries@pitzer.edu with subject header: Eight-Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds

Distribution:

  • Reading/performances will take place across campus and elsewhere and will exist as short videos.
  • Using IPhone or other smart phone device, participants are encouraged to film themselves reading their manifestos, to be featured on College’s website
  • Each week a different manifesto will be sent to the entire community via email and/or Instagram

Presentation:

  • All manifestos, in whatever form they take, will be documented and featured under Ministry of Culture, on the Galleries website

Links:

Class participation:

  • Upcoming workshops in September and October on Manifestos TBC
  • Manifesto workshop with the Galleries will take place in Professors Scott and Berg’s FYS classes on November 17, 2020.

Footnotes:

  1. Hans Ulrich Obrist: Manifestos for the Future
  2. James Baldwin The Art of Fiction No. 78
  3. Maximilien Robespierre
  4. Anti-racism and Criminal Justice Reform Resources
  5. Presidential Proclamation–Cesar Chavez Day
  6. Quotes from Harvey Milk and friends

MANIFESTO: Eight-Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds is a collaboration with Pitzer College Art Galleries and the Pitzer Writing Center and is made possible through generous support from President Melvin L. Oliver’s Racial Justice Initiative and Justice Education at the Claremont Colleges.