Start date: September 19, 2015

End date: November 29, 2015

Interference Archive presents Armed By Design/El Diseño a las Armas: Posters and Publications of Cuba’s Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL), a public exhibition and event series which features the graphic design production of the Organization in Solidarity with the Peoples of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Based in Havana, OSPAAAL produced nearly 500 posters, magazines, and books from the late 1960s through the present.

OSPAAAL developed out of the Tricontinental Conference, a 1966 meeting in Havana of delegates representing national liberation movements and political parties almost exclusively from the global south. Marrying a design that has unique Cuban aesthetics with literature from revolutionary thinkers, OSPAAAL was, and remains, a political organization focused on fighting US imperialism and supporting leftist liberation movements around the world. OSPAAAL became propagandists for these movements, supporting them through poster production, two different regularly produced journals (Tricontinental and the Tricontinental Bulletin), and a series of longer format books featuring the writings of the intellectual leadership of these movements.

Armed By Design/El Diseño a las Armas will highlight the intersection of graphic design and political solidarity work in post-revolution Cuba through the lens of OSPAAAL’s output. The public exhibition will highlight the Carlos Vega Poster Collection, donated to Interference Archive by his son, Jesse Maceo Vega-Frey. The late Vega was a community organizer in Western Massachusetts whose collection of over 50 OSPAAAL posters was acquired on trips to Cuba in the 1970s.  In addition, Armed by Design will include OSPAAAL posters and materials collected by Interference Archive co-founder Dara Greenwald (1971–2012) on a trip to Cuba in 2003.

Curated by Lani Hanna, Jen Hoyer, Josh MacPhee, Vero Ordaz, and Joelle Rebeiz.

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