#BLM Protest Posters in LIFT EVERY VOICE Exhibition at Kunsthall Trondheim

Photo: Daniel Vincent Hansen / Kunsthall Trondheim

Translated by Ka Man Mak.
Adapted from text by Michelle Tisdel on Lev-no.org
, and on Kunsthall Trondheim www.kunsthalltrondheim.no.

The exhibition LIFT EVERY VOICE, held at Kunsthall Trondheim from 26th November 2020 to 23rd January 2021, shown posters and social documentation from the demonstration «We Can’t Breathe. Justice for George Floyd,” which gathered more than 15,000 protesters on 5th June 2020.

The exhibition was curated by Michelle A. Tisdel, founder of LEV (lev-no.org) together with Carl Martin Faurby, programme curator of Kunsthall Trondheim in collaboration with Ka Man Mak, journalist and founder of The Oslo Desk. The Oslo Desk had followed the protests closely, and has contributed with photographs and video footage that contextualize the protests and signs for the exhibition.

In the spring of 2020, anti-racist demonstrations erupted in large parts of the world as a reaction to the killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, by police officers in Minneapolis, MN. What followed were extensive debates and social mobilizations to address racial injustice. A large part of these reactions has focused on making visible the experiences of racialized people. These efforts can be understood as a “politics of experience”.

The politics of experience that we are seeing today activate strategies and practices that foreground individual and community perspectives about structural inequality. This approach emphasizes that those who experience racial inequality should have more definitional power and representation in public dialogue about issues that relate directly to their experience of marginalization in society.

The LIFT EVERY VOICE exhibition, supported by the Fritt Ord foundation, displayed the protest posters as examples of free speech and narratives of experience. The posters expressed outrage, vulnerability and solidarity, as well as concerns about racism, belonging and social justice. By exhibiting them, LIFT EVERY VOICE explored how the demonstrations in Oslo, Trondheim and several other Norwegian cities, constitute a new critical event for antiracism in Norway. The posters, photographs and video material highlighted the public engagement, while the exhibition safeguarded society’s narratives.

LIFT EVERY VOICE also highlighted questions of intersectionality and identity politics that have become prevalent in social movements since the 1960s and 70s, and contributed with a discussion of representation in a current multicultural context.

Further collaboration between the LEV organisation and The Oslo Desk is being discussed to create more exhibitions like this one. The organisation LEV (Lift Every Voice) was started by Michelle Tisdel, a social anthropologist, who is collecting protest posters as source material to represent individual contributions to a broader social movement and democratic practice. The posters are examples of free speech, community perspectives, and narratives about racism, social justice, and Norwegian society.

Photo: Daniel Vincent Hansen / Kunsthall Trondheim


This video is part of the exhibition LIFT EVERY VOICE. Excerpts from the appeals held during the demonstration on 5 June 2020 in Oslo are presented here.

Video: André Percy Katombe for The Oslo Desk / Sonrise Picture.


Listen to the podcast episode hosted by Carl Martin Faurby, Programme Curator
of Kunsthall Trondheim discussing with Ka Man Mak, photojournalist of The Oslo Desk; Michelle Tisdel, founder of Lift Every Voice organisation; and Andre Percy Katombe, videographer of The Oslo Desk/Sonrise Picture on the exhibition.


Read and download the exhibition’s catalogue below.

Ka Man Mak

Ka Man is an investigative journalist, documentary photographer, and social entrepreneur, as well as the founder of The Oslo Desk. She is a British-born Hong Konger residing in Oslo, Norway. She holds a Master in Environmental Geoscience and have taken numerous diplomas including child psychology, and a course in big data analytics at OsloMet. Made numerous publications in newsletters, magazines and Norwegian newspapers. Interested in edtech, constructive journalism, women in migration, Cantonese language, alternatives to capitalism and asylum policy.