The Billboard Art of Revolutionary Grenada

The dreams of the Grenada Revolution were crushed in October 1983 by a quick succession of dramatic coups, starting with a power struggle between competing factions of the People’s Revolutionary Government. Maurice Bishop, the popular leader of the 1979 socialist revolution and subsequent Prime Minister, was first placed under house arrest, after a takeover by his […]

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North Korean Murals from Namibia to Syria

Espionart previously explored a string of patriotic sculptures built in Africa by Mansudae Overseas Projects, the international division of the North Korean state-run Mansudae Art Studio. This propaganda-for-hire is part of an alliance between North Korea and several African nations that dates from the 1960s, when the secretive Asian regime provided material assistance in their struggles for independence against European colonial powers. Mansudae’s projects have proved … Continue reading North Korean Murals from Namibia to Syria

Nicaragua’s Revolutionary Murals

The present day turmoil in Central America, that leads so many to risk death or incarceration while attempting to cross the US border, has its origins in the Cold War. The civil wars and revolutions that reached their peak during the 1970s are collectively known as the Central American Crisis. This unrest in turn had its origins in the so-called Banana Wars of the early … Continue reading Nicaragua’s Revolutionary Murals

The Secret Art of Pinochet’s Chile

Having been forced to call free presidential elections on 14 December 1989, Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet was finally removed from power, bringing to an end 16 years of military rule. Pinochet had taken the presidency in 1973 following a US-backed coup d’état, which deposed the elected socialist government of Salvador Allende and established a junta in its place. The restoration of democracy in Chile … Continue reading The Secret Art of Pinochet’s Chile

War and Peace in San Francisco

In a momentous event in world history, from 4 to 11 February 1945 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin convened in Crimea’s Livadia Palace to decide the future of post-war Germany. As a result of the controversial Yalta Conference, the country was divided into four zones of occupation, with each assigned to the management of one … Continue reading War and Peace in San Francisco

What & Where: Gerhard Richter’s Hidden Mural

What: Gerhard Richter, The Joy of Life, 1956 Where: Deutsches Hygiene Museum, Dresden, Germany (not on display) An early mural by one of the world’s most famous artists takes pride of place in the foyer of a major German museum – but you can’t see it. In 1956 the 24-year-old Gerhard Richter created The Joy of Life whilst an art student at the Dresden Academy of Arts. … Continue reading What & Where: Gerhard Richter’s Hidden Mural

Iran’s Cold War Murals

On 4 November 1979 Iranian students stormed the Embassy of the United States in Tehran, beginning the Iran Hostage Crisis. The event, which was recently dramatised to Oscar-winning effect in Argo, triggered a rupture in Iran-US relations that continues to dominate global politics. After the end of the crisis on 20 January 1981 the now-abandoned embassy was found to be covered in anti-American murals. In … Continue reading Iran’s Cold War Murals