1 Million Roses for Angela was the motto of a state-organized postcard campaign in socialist East Germany in support of Angela Davis — Marxist philosopher and Black Power activist. The campaign ran from from 1971 to 1972 while Davis was being held under terrorism charges in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands participated in the campaign, which East Germany used to position itself as “the better Germany” at the height of the Cold War. The media spun Davis as the “heroine of the other America,” she was admired, and after her acquittal, she was welcomed as a state guest. For her part, Angela Davis had hoped for an internationalist movement promoting a socialist, feminist, and non-racist democracy.
A Deeper Look at Angela Davis
The backstories of these moments of hope and projection of this unusual and often contradictory alliance are thematized by Jamele Watkins, Kata Krasznahorkai, and Maria Schubert in this dossier. These texts were originally published in the catalogue accompanying the contemporary art exhibition 1 Million Roses for Angela Davis at the Albertinum in Dresden (2020–2021). In an interview, Angela Davis herself reflects on these formative years and connects them to her biography as activist and political philosopher.
This publication accompanies the exhibitions 1 Million Roses for Angela Davis
Albertinum - Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden
(Exhibition Venue: Kunsthalle im Lipsiusbau)
October 10, 2020–January 24, 2021