Celebrate People's History: The Occupation of Alcatraz

Josh MacPhee
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
February 2006
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
A orange, brown, and yellow image where there is a man on the right side with his fist raised. There is a teepee to the left of him. There is a prison in the background. Poster is title “The Occupation of Alcatraz." Main text on the poster reads: “From November 1969 to June 1971 a coalition of American Indian students and urban Indians of All Tribes, occupied Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Francisco as a call to resistance against the US domination of Nation peoples and land. The coalition publicized the occupation through a widely distributed newsletter and a radio show broadcast in multiple cities. This action sparked years of Native resistance, including the 1972 takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Headquarters in Washington, DC, and the re-occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973.”
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.