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.” 

Print #3: "Even in hope's absence..."

Print #3: "Even in hope's absence..."

3. Even in hope's absence.jpg

Artist's statement for "Even in hope's absence..."

Title: "Even in hope's absence..."

Medium: Original linocut print, ink on paper, 8 x 6 inches

Artist: Annie Banks

Date: October 2017

Inspired by my interview with Rob McBride, I created this image with the phrase, "Even in hope's absence, we must be determined." Rob spoke to me about how sometimes it is possible to have hope, but even in hope's absence, there is another force - determination.

I chose to show a youthful, multi-racial and multi-gendered group of activists with a young Black woman central in the image, both as relief to the last print (which featured a Black woman in prison) and to show that activism is not a "white thing" but rather has always been led by the most impacted people closest to the contradictions of empire (Ellinger, 2017). Living where I do (Berkeley, California, on Ohlone territories) and growing up where I did (Victoria, BC, on Lkwungen and WSANEC territories), I have always seen that the vast majority of the leadership of justice movements comes from Indigenous people, Black people, and people of color, those most impacted, poor people, differently-abled people, women, and Two-spirit, queer, trans and gender-non-conforming people.  

I chose to represent this group locking down with lock boxes to show their determination and also to uplift direct action as a response that "gets the goods". Sometimes we must put our bodies on the line in the struggle for justice - and there is an incredible, long history of this, with more examples than I could ever possibly recount. What a powerful and beautiful legacy to be a part of. 

Sources:

Ellinger, M. (2017, October 28). Personal communication. 

McBride, R. (2017, October 11). Personal communication.

Interview #2: Rob McBride

Interview #2: Rob McBride

Interview #1: David Gilbert

Interview #1: David Gilbert