Your Space Or Mine
Carleen De Sözer
It’s been more than half a century since the Chicago Black Panther Party luminary Fred Hampton spoke in support of his incarcerated comrade Bobby Seale: ‘You can jail the revolutionary but you can’t jail the revolution.’ Are we now beginning to see structural and systemic social injustice radically, fundamentally challenged instead of tepidly ‘reformed’?
The latest artist to collaborate on the Your Space Or Mine street poster collaboration with the BUILDHOLLYWOOD family is Carleen de Sözer. Birmingham born but living and working in London for many years De Sözer’s practice spans tattoo design to street murals, works on canvas to CD covers, clothing to delivering numerous workshops for black women artists and young people. She’s both widely recognised and greatly admired for her figurative aerosol portraits often rendered in a classic black and golden yellow palette.
For the Your Space Or Mine street poster De Sözer has set aside her signature style and opted for a stark clenched fist design in primal colours: black, red and white. Gesture of anti-authoritarian collective resistance, the BPP focussed the symbolism of a clenched fist as a demand for black civil rights, an end to police brutality as well as the public policies and institutional practices that perpetuate injustice. She explains “I first designed this image after the London riots in 2011 it was initially meant to be a t-shirt print, the design was intentionally basic and bold and slightly miss quoted, changing the (a) to (the) to fit in the allocated space on the wrist. I wanted the image to look like it came from the 60’s, from the Black Panther Party. I took the quote from Black Panther leader Fred Hampton “you can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail a revolution” I changed the quote to