14.9.18

Trust Your Struggle - 15 years

Wow, can't believe 15 years has gone by since we started building and discussing what TYS would be. The Trust Your Struggle Collective was founded in the Bay Area (Pittsburg, SF, and Oakland) 15 years ago and still lives from LA to NYC. We are a group of artists, activists, educators, parents, workers, etc who created a crew on the principles of making dope art that speaks about some of the injustices we see.

That was the point and I believe we have done our very best to bring that energy for 15 years. We have painted canvases, paper, walls, black books, classrooms, cultural centers, schools, streets, galleries, banners, garages, restaurants, and our own hearts. We have traveled all over the United States and many places throughout the world and one thing that comes to mind no matter what we do are the people we've met along the way.

It is the grandmothers, aunties, and the homies from around the way who don't have a holiday in their name, a chapter in a book, or a street named after them. It is the folks who gave a dime when they barely had a nickel. It is the folks who stopped to tell us their story, or give encouragement and sometimes criticism. It is the countless friends and family who helped us with their time, money, resources, food, and shelter that make the art and the struggle meaningful. I think we all knew we were not reinventing the wheel with our work or subject matter. We were inspired by so many different artists and movements of the past.

But through all the great times, the bullshit, and the times when we just got by; it means something to bear witness to what everyday people are going through. It means something to be able to help share their narrative. We believe in basic human rights for all, peoples control over the wealth they create, thinking critically about what our oppressors feed us mentally, and being creative when you break it down.

Salute to all the artists out there fighting back with your poetry, movement, words, organizing, brushes, and hearts. Know that you are loved. None of us are perfect. I know you get tired. Keep fighting, we have to keep going so the next generation takes the torch. The oppressors know how powerful the people are collectively.

A new world is coming.....

-Rob / Tres (TYS Collective Est. 2003)

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