‘Dismantle Whiteness’ Mural Installed at USC

Drew Van Voorhism, College Fix, April 11, 2018

An artistic mural has been installed at the University of Southern California that declares “dismantle whiteness” in big, black and white capital letters, one part of a larger display designed to spark conversations regarding “racism, sexism and xenophobia,” according to its creators.

The mural was designed by the feminist artist collective When Women Disrupt in conjunction with students in the class “Women: Designing Media for Social Change.”

Recently installed at an entrance to the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism building, it depicts large sketch drawings of four women of color on walls flanking the doorway with the words “DISMANTLE WHITENESS AND MISOGYNY ON THIS CAMPUS” posted on the ceiling above it.

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One of the keyterms on it is “Whiteness” and is described as “Distinct from being white, whiteness refers to an unmarked and unnamed place of advantage, privilege or domination; a lens through which white people tend to see themselves and others; an organizing principle that shapes institutions, policies, and social relations.”

The flyer also lists some background of When Women Disrupt, described as “an intersectional feminist artist collective.”

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According to an article in The Daily Trojan, several students were not satisfied with the location of the artpiece, as they believe it should have been placed in a more highly traversed area. USC student Claire Porter blamed the administration.

“It’s placed in a very hidden area of campus where it’s not usually seen and I think that speaks to the administration and how they want to frame and direct the conversation and the impact — the fact that it is inward-facing not outward facing — all of these factors are intentional from the administration and I think this project would have been much more powerful if the artists were given more freedom,” Porter said.

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According to an USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism post on Facebook touting the piece, the “work was sponsored by the Institute for Diversity and Empowerment (IDEA) and USC Visions and Voices as part of USC Annenberg’s ‘Off the Wall’ series of multi-media art installations.”

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