The Art of Communication

CHAPTER 5: Art and words for social change

Combining words and images can be a powerful way to reclaim forgotten histories, document social change, and address political issues. Pictures and texts can work in conjunction to give documentary weight to the historical claim they present. They can interact in fluid, poetic ways to create new visual motifs to represent the traditions or the past. Words can also be implied, rather than rendered in a visible way, in works that make reference to literacy, storytelling, and oral histories. In some cases, words can be censored, leaving behind a loud, compelling silence.

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Image credit:
Diego Rivera
La maestra rural [The Rural Teacher], 1932 (detail)
Lithograph
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Archer M. Huntington Museum Fund, 1986

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