Past Event

Art, Culture and Struggle: Exploring Possibility and Imagination

Join artists Josh MacPhee and Ivan Arenas for a conversation exploring the connections (and disjunctures) between art, culture and struggle. MacPhee, a Brooklyn-based street artist, designer and activist, will present a slideshow based on the content of the newly released Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics. Arenas, a Mexican-American scholar whose work focuses on the relationship between urban spaces and political subjects, will share insights from his work as an artist and scholar in Oaxaca, Mexico. Together, we will explore the complex ways that art and cultural production affects our communities and our struggles for equality and justice. 

More about our guest speakers:

Josh Macphee is an artist and activist whose work revolves around themes of history, radical politics, and public space. His most recent books are Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures, co-edited with Dara Greenwald, and Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today. He also is a member of the political art cooperative and a co-editor of Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Iván Arenas is a Mexican-American scholar whose work focuses on the relationship between urban space and political subjects through the lens of social mobilization, aesthetics, and collective memory. He is a visiting scholar at UIC as part of the Social Justice Initiative where he is helping to set up a Pop Up “JUST” Art space, among other projects. Having worked with political street artists in Oaxaca, Mexico, he is also currently working on a book manuscript assessing how Oaxaca’s popular uprising of 2006 is reconfiguring conceptions of public space and rights to the city, redefining political participation through novel practices of self-formation, and questioning the role of democratic government in Mexico’s future. In addition to his scholarly research, he is a practicing artist and architect.

Free and open to the public. For more information please call 312.422.5580. Reserve your spot here.

If you need a sign interpreter or require other arrangements to fully participate, please call 312.422.5580. For parking locations near the facility, please visit