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The Migration Of The Negro (Series) By Jacob Lawrence

Decent Essays
Animal Farm Modern Connection - Painting “It is important that artists are not outside the equation, we don’t stand on the sidelines. Artists are part of the story of a response, we cannot stand aside and let others make the response.” - Anish Kapoor. In the literary work Animal Farm by George Orwell, a farm ran by animals was used to make a political statement about the corruption of the Soviet Union, while this is a unique topic many artists have used their works to share their opinions on corrupt political/social systems. One example of an artistic work that illustrates a political statement on a corrupt social system is The Migration of the Negro (Series) by Jacob Lawrence. In this work Lawrence painted a series of sixty panels using…show more content…
Lawrence himself was raised in New York after his parents moved there from South Carolina, which personally tied him to The Great Migration as his parents were part of the movement. While a young man in New York Lawrence fell in love with art produced by the Harlem Renaissance and began studying African art at the 135th Street Public Library, where he then became interested in the history behind Harlem and The Great Migration. After extensive research on the topic Lawrence learned of the depths of Southern racism as well as the hardships the migrants faced during their lives and “by drawing upon his emotional responses to them” he began planning The Migration of the Negro (The Phillips Collection 1). Once started the series became the center of Lawrence's focus and all his time poured into the project as Lawrence was devoted to his “ethnic pride and his desire to reveal events” that took place in so many African-Americans lives including his own parents (The Phillips Collection 1). Through these panels he was able to illustrate the corrupt social climate that resulted in the suffering of countless migrants. For example in Panel 22, named “Another of the social causes of the migrants’ leaving was that at times they did not feel safe,…show more content…
For example the Social Injustices depicted in this works varies closely with Orwell’s representations of the Soviet Union’s lack of social equality through the pigs abuse of other animals. Furthermore both Orwell and Lawrence sought to raise awareness on political topics as well as express opinions through their works. But perhaps most importantly both artists illustrate how political/social systems are fragile and can become corrupted easily when people holding power find no punishments in exploiting others, which is why both works stand as reminders to observe people of power to ensure that they do not corrupt the political/social systems they help
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