On 2 May 1942, hundreds of China’s leading writers, artists, and communist leaders gathered to discuss the key cultural questions of the time. The historic Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art lasted for three weeks.

In all, 52 works were submitted, with contributions by artists from 13 states in Brazil and 5 different countries. Their works were arranged around the three axes suggested in the call for art: ‘Popular Education and Conscience: The Originality of Freirean Pedagogy’; ‘To Hope in 2021: The Relevance of Paulo Freire’s Ideas’; and ‘A Pedagogy That Changed the World: Freire’s Internationalist Practice’. As well as digital illustrations, collages, and drawings, we received photographs recording the experience of popular education in various corners of the country and the world, demonstrating how Freire’s ideas remain fundamental for our activism.

On the anniversary of the 26th of July Movement’s founding, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research launches the online exhibition, Let Cuba Live. 80 artists from 19 countries – including notable cartoonists and designers from Cuba – submitted over 100 works in defense of the Cuban Revolution. Together, the exhibition is a visual call for the end to the decades-long US-imposed blockade, whose effects have only deepened during the pandemic.

On 16 May 1871, the Vendôme Column – the symbol of Napoleon-era imperialism – came toppling down. In honour of this anniversary, Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research along with 26 international publishers, organised an online exhibition, Paris Commune 150. We invited artists from all over the world to reflect and reimagine the legacy of the Commune for the people’s struggles of today and tomorrow.

In the middle of our pandemic year, 162 artists from 30 countries and 27 organizations contributed to the Anti-Imperialist Poster Exhibitions. They responded to a series of open calls to make posters that give expressions to four defining concepts of our time: capitalism, neoliberalism, imperialism and hybrid war.