“The role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible”
—Toni Cade Bambara
Micah Bazant is a visual artist who works with social justice movements to make change look irresistible. They create art inspired by struggles to decolonize ourselves from white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism and the gender binary and by movements to reimagine ourselves in right relation to the planet in the face of climate crisis. Bazant is also an anti-zionist jew and identifies as trans and timtum (one of six traditional jewish gender categories).
Bazant believes that those most negatively impacted by oppression hold the knowledge and experience necessary to dismantle those systems. Trans women and trans femmes of color live and resist at the nexus of many interlocking systems of oppression, including white supremacy, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia. By supporting trans women and trans femmes of color to lead at the center of our movements, we strengthen our fight for the liberation of anyone impacted by white supremacy, misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia – in other words, everyone.
To that end, Bazant has had the honor of collaborating with many organizations led by trans women and femmes of color, including TGI Justice Project, El/La Para TransLatinas, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Audre Lorde Project, Trans Justice Funding Project, Transgender Law Center, and trans and gender nonconforming organizers within the Black Lives Matter movement.
In 2015, Bazant created the Trans Day of Resilience art project in collaboration with Alok Vaid-Menon and the Strong Families network. The project matched trans and gender nonconforming artists with trans justice organizations, to create art for a historic national event called Trans Day of Resilience on November 20, 2016. The art was used in demonstrations and events in New York City, New Orleans, Nashville, Madison, Albuquerque, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and shared online at www.tdor.co.
Bazant believes that how we create art is equally important to what we create. Their goal is to honor peoples’ beauty and spirit, and to create art that catalyzes positive change in our cultures and in peoples’ lives
You can buy Bazant’s art and learn more about their work at micahbazant.com.
When I was in Palestine, I learned about the saber – the prickly pear/nopal cactus originally from Mexico – as a symbol of indigenous resilience and resistance. The saber are/were used as natural fences. I saw them growing up again where Israeli bulldozers had flattened entire towns – they’d show a ghost map of where Palestinian homes had been. I believe the terror and apartheid of zionism will end and free Palestine will rise, just like the beautiful saber.
This portrait of fabulous undocumented trans activist Jennicet Eva Gutiérrez was created during Pride 2015, and is the second in the “Liberation For All of Us” series.
Text reads: “No Pride for Some of Us Without Liberation For All of Us. In June 2015, Jennicet Gutiérrez interrupted a White House gay pride event, with a call to end detainment & deportation of LGBTQ immigrants. For 500+ years, gender violence has been a key strategy of European Christian conquest + genocide in the Americas. Today, trans women fleeing violence are denied US asylum, held with men and assaulted, and tortured in solitary. Trans + queer freedom means an end to torture & deportation.”
This piece was created during Pride 2013, to celebrate Marsha “Pay It no Mind” Johnson, one of the mothers of the trans and queer liberation movement, and to express our rage at the white supremacist corporate appropriation of Pride celebrations.
The words “No Pride For Some of Us Without Liberation For All of Us” are by Micah Bazant. This messaging has since been used by trans and queer racial justice organizers across the US. (See more pics below!)
To learn more about the fabulous Marsha P Johnson, watch this great documentary or read this great post by Reina Gosset, co-Director of the upcoming film Happy Birthday Marsha! This image is based on a photo by Marsha’s friend, Randy Wicker, with permission.
Portrait of Eisha Love, who was incarcerated for defending herself, and spent nearly 4 years in jail because she couldn’t afford bail.
Here are some of Eisha’s own words about the art: “This wonderful piece of artwork was inspired by my life. The color brown symbolizes our power as Black trans women. Its easy to give up hope being in a difficult situation of being discriminated against and having to deal with the horrible justice System. Always remember to keep your faith alive, no matter what obstacles may come your way. Just remain hopeful & humble because you yourself can become a living piece of art, just like me. Support us.”