Art Term

Identity politics

Identity politics is the term used to describe an anti-authoritarian political and cultural movement that gained prominence in the USA and Europe in the mid-1980s, asking questions about identity, repression, inequality and injustice and often focusing on the experience of marginalised groups

Sonia Boyce, ‘From Tarzan to Rambo: English Born ‘Native’ Considers her Relationship to the Constructed/Self Image and her Roots in Reconstruction’ 1987
Sonia Boyce
From Tarzan to Rambo: English Born ‘Native’ Considers her Relationship to the Constructed/Self Image and her Roots in Reconstruction 1987
Tate
© Sonia Boyce

Identity politics emerged out of the 1960s Black Civil Rights Movement, second wave feminism and gay and lesbian liberation. It was confrontational and asked questions about the kind of art that should be made and for whom in a post-colonial world where the history of art was being re-written to encompass a broader, less western-dominated perspective.

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