Annie Banks is an organizer/artist in Berkeley, California, on Ohlone territories. Annie is an active member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Anti Police-Terror Project and is a student at Goddard College. Annie has been a printmaker since high school. 

“The role of cultural workers is important in our movements for justice.” 

NEW SERIES: Drawing inspiration: a series of interviews and prints made with movement mentors

NEW SERIES: Drawing inspiration: a series of interviews and prints made with movement mentors

Starting today, I will begin posting the work that is my final Senior Study Project, Drawing inspiration: a series of interviews and prints made with movement mentors, for the Bachelor of Health, Arts and Sciences Program at Goddard College.

I have chosen to focus my final project on creating a series of interviews with white anti-racist mentors of mine as well as a series of lino cut prints inspired by these interviews. There are a total of 7 lino cut prints and 5 interviews. The purpose of this project is two-fold. First, I wanted to interview these 5 movement mentors in order to have conversations with them about what anti-racist organizing looks like to them in these current political times, as I have felt that there is a great need for guidance and lessons from people with more experience and decades longer involvement in the struggle. I also wanted to create some way of sharing out what these mentors shared with me to other people and groups of people in my community and beyond. Secondly, I wanted to create inspiring cultural work in order to share out these lessons and hopefully bolster movement morale.

This body of work is intended for anyone who considers themselves an activist, who is considering engaging with activism or is troubled by the times we are in both locally and globally. I chose to interview only white anti-racist mentors, despite the fact that so many of the movement mentors in my life are people of color, Black, and Indigenous, because I feel that my access to such mentors is rare. I do not know very many other white people who have had access to white anti-racist mentors in their lives, especially mentors who have decades of experience from various movements.

I wanted to hear from their perspective what they think younger activists need to be thinking about. What are the overarching lessons that older activists may have insights on, that I need to learn in order to be a more effective member of the various movements that I believe in? How can we learn from and thus not repeat the mistakes of those who have come before? What are the things, in my youthful naivete, that my elders would recommend I be thoughtful about?

I wanted to create this body of work in the service of our movement and it is my greatest hope that it can provide some insights, some learning, some inspiration and some hope in these challenging times. 

Annie Banks, November 2017

  My first showing of the lino cuts, at  Reem's California  in Oakland, California, Ohlone territories, on November 12, 2017. 

My first showing of the lino cuts, at Reem's California in Oakland, California, Ohlone territories, on November 12, 2017. 

Print #1: "Where there is struggle..."

Print #1: "Where there is struggle..."

ON THE HARMS OF WHITE SUPREMACY TO WHITE PEOPLE, PART FIVE: VIGNETTE 4: LOSS OF LOVED ONES/POLITICAL REPRESSION.

ON THE HARMS OF WHITE SUPREMACY TO WHITE PEOPLE, PART FIVE: VIGNETTE 4: LOSS OF LOVED ONES/POLITICAL REPRESSION.