Favianna Rodriguez on cultural inequality

Favianna Rodriguez’s artwork challenges the idea that white, elite men can or should shape how all of us understand the world. “We need to present a multi-dimensional view of who we are,” says Rodriguez, who serves as the executive director of CultureStrike. “We have to create the content that reflects our stories.”


FAVIANNA RODRIGUEZ: I don’t call my art political because everything is political. Every single work of art is done from a point of view. The thing is that the point of view of white, elite men is held as the normal. Anything that doesn’t fall on that is seen as feminist, ethnic, folk, Latin, Black. But all our experiences are human experiences.

[Inequality is logo. A graphic black equal sign with an orange slash through it. #InequalityIs. Favianna Rodriguez, executive director, CultureStrike. A small-figured brown Latina woman with curly asymmetrical hair, wearing a knitted pink top and bright yellow earrings. Favianna in her studio, surrounded by colorful paintings of female anatomy, paints in large black letters, “inequality is not being seen as a full human being”.]

When I think about inequality I especially think about cultural inequality because I think it’s something that we don’t really pay attention to. Income inequality, climate inequality, gender inequality are all things that we see on a regular basis, but cultural inequality is something that is ignored. Inequality is growing up in a world where you don’t see yourself reflected and the stories about you are overwhelmingly negative. If you look at who is making the decisions on what is good art you continue to see white men in power. We need to present a multi-dimensional view of who we are. We have to create the content that reflects our stories, distribute it; be in charge of the institutions that are setting the national agenda. We have to be able to share our true human selves in order to build empathy. The greatest power in art is the ability for us to imagine a future that we have not yet fulfilled.

[Inequality Is Logo. Join the conversation. #InequalityIs.]

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