A Brief History of Protest Art



ISBN: 9781849767828 Category:

Aindrea Emelife


Art has always declared its dissatisfaction against the status quo. Throughout history artists have used their art to criticise and protest against a range of injustices and inequalities, oppression and violence. Their art is an act of defiance, but more importantly it has given a voice to the voiceless and the marginalised.

This book is a short visual journey through 100 years of protest art. Commencing with the Dada artists, one of the first groups to become known for activist art – opposing bourgeois culture and reacting to the First World War and the nationalism that they thought had led to it – this book showcases the work of seventy artists who have challenged traditional boundaries, spoken up for the powerless and against those who seek to deny people their human and civil rights. Exploring deeply political and critical art which uses irony, satire, subversion and provocation, it features reactions and responses to war, violence, capitalism, civil rights, gender and racial inequalities, AIDS, climate change, LGBTQ+ rights and the Black Lives Matter movement, in a range of media. A Little History of Protest Art reveals the role of art in confronting important political and social issues, and changing attitudes to help create a better future.

Additional information

Weight 320 g
Dimensions 14.2 x 17.3 cm
Publisher name Tate Publishing
Publication date 14 September 2022
Number of pages 160
Format Paperback / softback
Dimensions 14.2 x 17.3 cm
Weight 320 g


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Aindrea Emelife is an independent curator, art historian and presenter from London. Starting at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she completed a BA in History of Art, she has quickly gone on to become a ground-breaking new voice in an art world otherwise steeped in tradition. Aindrea debuted her first column for the Financial Times at the age of twenty, and has been published widely and internationally, including articles in The Guardian, Vanity Fair, The Telegraph, GQ, Frieze, The Independent, The Arts Newspaper and ArtNet. She features regularly on podcasts, and is dedicated to public speaking, usually pertaining to discussions of contemporary art, popularising art history and championing women and Black artists, and artists of colour. Aindrea has featured in programming on Sky Arts and presented art films for such prestigious institutions as The Royal Academy of Arts, The Hepworth Wakefield Museum, The Dairy Art Centre and the Courtauld.

In 2021, Aindrea was appointed to the Mayor of London's Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. The Commission's role is to enrich and add to the current public realm, and advise on better ways to raise public understanding behind existing statues, street names, building names and memorials.