One Voice, One Message: Black Lives Matter

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Conversation with photographer, Joshua Edmonds and UAS intern Genevieve Wagner.

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One Voice, One Message programming 

Exhibition in Hopkins Hall Gallery
October 5-20, 2020 | 11:00AM-4:00PM

Images and Power: Protest Photography and the Challenges of Representation
online webinar
October 28, 2020 | 4:00PM-5:00PM

Online exhibition @ UAS from Home
October 26-December 4, 2020
(below)

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One Voice, One Message: Black Lives Matter

On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year old black male was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota by a police officer who held his knee on Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds until he was no longer breathing. 

A video recording of this event went viral. And the world reacted. An all too familiar movement resurfaced and the shock, pain, and anger reverberated not just through the U.S. but the world. People took to the streets to protest, to be heard, to enact change.

This online exhibition, with photography and commentary by Joshua Edmonds, shares just a fragment of that reaction that took place in Columbus, Ohio the following days after George Floyd's death.

Through marching, through art, through protest, community members came together to let their voices be heard as one. To echo the same message being shared around the world: BLACK LIVES MATTER.

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Black and white photograph shows Black Lives Matter protesters walking in one direction (from left to right) and consuming the bottom of half of the image, some of them raise signs. Between the viewer and the protestors are two police officers standing next to their bicycles with their backs turned to the viewer. The top half of the fame shows the sky, trees, and the tops of buildings.
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The middle ground of the black and white photo is in focus and shows a protestor during black lives matter demonstration sitting on someone's shoulders and is raising their closed right fist. The foreground shows blurred protestors facing the right side of the photo, with some holding signs. The background shows trees and buildings.
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Black and white photo shows BLM protestors at Ohio State house. The viewer stands behind the protestors on their right-hand side. Majority of the protestors have bare arms and raised closed fists or signs and fill the bottom third of the image. There is one readable sign: "Black Lives Matter." The pillars of the state house fill the right half of the image above the protestors. The top left half of the image shows leafy trees.
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A large crowd of protesters gathered outside the Ohio Statehouse, as many chant "Black Lives Matter" in front of police officers. 

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A color photo taken from head-on. The photo shows street art on wooden boards covering windows on a brick building downtown. The biggest word is FLOYD, with the "O" shaped as a heart is red, with white and black drop shadows. Three smaller white text blurbs appear across the red text and reads: George; I can't breathe; ACAB. "FLOYD" is on a brown background with black spots.
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A color photo that is taken front-on. The picture is of street art painted on plywood covering windows on a building downtown Columbus. The background of the art is a top-to-bottom gradient: black, blue, pink, purple, blue, black. The bottom right corner shows two figures holding a sign that reads “Justice for Breonna Taylor.” The bottom right corner shows a blue car with pink and purple flames. Two headless figures sit on the car, third figure is driving the car in the rightward direction.
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These four photos represent what this is all for. They showcase street art dedicated to those unjustly murdered by police officers: George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Tyre King, Henry Green, and Julius Tate Jr. in Columbus.
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Street Art in Downtown Columbus on plywood covering windows on a building downtown Columbus. A bright blue background is painted on the plywood featuring the painted portrait of Tyre King. He is smiling and wears a golden crown, with the text "Tyre King" above the portrait. Next to the portrait are painted images of white flowers, lit white candles, and golden to honor Tyre King.
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A color image of two square pieces of street art downtown Columbus on plywood over windows. The diptych both feature bright orange backgrounds. The left one reads in blacks and white colored text, “Henry ‘Bub’ Green,” “say his name,” and “killed by un-uniformed Columbus Police Officers. The right one reads in black, bright blue, and white text, “Julius Tate Jr.,” “Class of 2020,” “murdered by CPD 12/07/18.” Next to the word “Tate” is a black, blue, and white painted flower.
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A black and white photograph. The foreground focuses on a BLM protester sitting on a car in the bottom right thirds of the image holding a sign that reads "Sorry, not sorry for the inconvenient inconvenience!! WE are TRYING to CHANGE the WORLD!" A second figure stands to the side of the car farthest from the viewer and raises a closed fist. The background shows buildings and stop lights.
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A black and white photo that fills the majority of the frame with protestors in a white van, shown from the passenger side. The van door is slid back and a protestor leans out of the door and holds up a phone to record. The shot-gun seat has a protestor that holds a sign out the window that covers their face and reads " No Justice, No Peace" with the image of a closed fist. In the back of the van, a third protestor sits and hold a sign that reads "BLM."
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A black and white photograph with the bottom half of the frame fill of protestors demonstrating by walking from right to left, while raising their closed fists and holding signs. The focus predominantly lands on one protestor in the middle holding a sign and wearing a shirt that reads "Black Lives Matter."
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Protesters marching down Broad St. after rallying at the Ohio State House during week one of protests.

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A black and white photograph. More than fifteen police officers on bicycles ride in the street from the right side of the frame and into the middle of the frame. They ride in three columns of about 5 officers. The background of the image shows buildings and the oncoming intersection.
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The looming police officers on bikes follow closely behind the protesters as they make their way down Broad St. 

Two officers overlook the large crowd of protesters as they gather outside the Ohio Statehouse. 

National Guard Humvee positioned to prevent incoming traffic to the downtown area. 

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A black and white photo. In the middle of the image are two police offers overlooking BLM protests at the Ohio Statehouse. The viewer stands beneath them and sees the officers from the elbows up. The top right corner os the frame shows the dome of the Statehouse and the reminder of the top half shows and even gray-toned sky.
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A black and white photograph. The center of the frame is a military vehicle in downtown Columbus during BLM protests and blocks off an intersection. The background features police vehicles, streetlights and four roads that meet at the intersection the military vehicle sits in. On the right edge of the image, a street sign that is cut off a bit reads "Wrong Way."
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A black and white photo. The image focuses on the middle ground featuring a protester carrying a sign that says "no more racist police." The foreground shows more protestors out of focus. The background shows a building with windows that reflect images of many buildings in downtown Columbus.
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A black and white photograph. The bottom middle half of the image has a group of protestors with camera equipment and surrounding a police officer. BLM protesters with signs encircle the protestors with cameras. The top half of the image shows buildings in downtown Columbus.
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BLM protesters in downtown columbus

 

A crowd of protesters and media gathered as police officers speak with activists. 

 

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protester holding sign depicting names of those killed by police

Protester holding a sign showcasing the names of those unjustly murdered by police officers. 

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"what if Americas loved Black people as much as they loved Black Culture?"

A simple but powerful question written on the wooden boards used to protect local businesses.  

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A black and white photograph that shows BLM protesters lined up from the bottom right corner of the image and receding into the background in the middle of the frame. The protestors stand behind signs that reach chest-height in downtown Columbus. Some read: "Justice for Julius," "Protect Black Trans Women," or "Tear gas is an Illegal war crime."
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Protesters and allies form a protective barrier of signs while activists speak on the injustices and let their voices be heard.
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A black and white photograph. In a line across the bottom third of the image stand lines up BLM protesters that are holding chest-high signs in downtown Columbus at night. The background shows a building with a LED screen that reads "#GeorgeFloyd."
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Heart of Protest logo

The online exhibition and related programming are part of an ongoing collaboration between Ohio State's Frank W. Hale, Jr. Black Cultural Center, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Urban Arts Space. It is presented in conjunction with The HeART of Protest series convened by The King Arts Complex. More than twenty arts and cultural organizations in Columbus have teamed up for The HeART of Protest, which will include 46 non-sequential days of artistic protest determined by each organization to honor the 46 years of Mr. George Floyd’s life. This effort will be both a catalyst and a documentation of the global social justice movement that is underway.


Hybrid Arts Lab is a multi-venue teaching lab that experiments with how art is imagined, made, viewed and understood within physical and digital spaces. Venues include Hopkins Hall Gallery, Stillman Hall Tent, and online @ UAS from Home.