“Signs of Resistance,” an exhibit of protest signs and banners by Chicago poets and artists, opened in the $22 million galleries of the Poetry Foundation, on October 5th. The show runs through December 22nd.
Here is the first paragraph of the exhibit’s description:
For this exhibition, Chicago poets, artists, and organizing communities were invited to contribute signs of resistance: posters, banners, and other ephemera of direct action in response to social unrest. [Read the rest, here: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/exhibitions/143867/signs-of-resistance]
A modest query to the Poetry Foundation: And what of the two beautiful banners, peacefully hung on your premises, by the young Chicago poets and artists of the Croatoan Poetic Cell six years back, during a reading by the great Chilean poet-activist Raúl Zurita? And what of the flyers the young poets and artists attempted to distribute there, calling on your organization to sever its bizarre and quite non-poetic linkages (see the vitas, for instance, of your first two Presidents) to Wall Street, the State Department, and national security agencies? What of these poetic-protest artifacts, so in keeping, one would think, with your exhibit?
Of course, we realize the Croatoan materials could never be physically displayed in the current show, due to the fact that PF staff and a phalanx of outsourced security guards violently tore down the Croatoan banners and confiscated their flyers, destroying all of these on the spot. Blatant acts of suppression that were followed by a concerted attempt to corner the cultural activists so they could be arrested by the Chicago cops… But still, in absence of these eradicated cultural objects, could there not at least have been a brief, courageously self-critical acknowledgment that something is, indeed, ironically missing from your exhibit? Might there not have been just a footnote to the catalogue, describing the carefully made and thought-out “signs of resistance” you promptly destroyed six years ago? Might this not have been followed by a sincere apology offered by your current President to the poetry communities of Chicago and the nation at large for such authoritarian and hostile deportment towards idealistic, peacefully protesting poets and artists?
For our readers, here is a video and article at Salon, documenting the criminal behavior, that night, of the PF. https://www.salon.com/2011/11/13/its_time_to_occupy_poetry/
Dear 100+ million Poetry Foundation:
Your arrogance is shameful.
And your hypocrisy knows no bounds.