The Tricontinental Movement and the Cultures of Solidarity

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(Recorded October 2019) 

Guests: Anne Garland Mahler and Debra Lennard

What role does culture play in creating, transforming, and sustaining political solidarity? In this episode, we speak to Anne Garland Mahler, author of From Tricontinentalism to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and International Solidarity (2018), and Debra Lennard, curator of the exhibition Notes on Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in Print (2019), about their work on the cultural history of the Tricontinental movement.

Anne Garland Mahler is Associate Professor of Spanish and affiliated faculty in Latin American studies and in the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African American and African studies at the University of Virginia. She is an interdisciplinary scholar focused on South-South political and cultural movements, particularly among Latin American, Caribbean, African American, and U.S. Latinx artists, activists, and writers. She is author of From the Tricontinental to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and Transnational Solidarity (Duke University Press, 2018) and co-editor of The Comintern and the Global South: Global Designs/Local Encounters (Routledge, 2023). She has two books in progress: A Wide Net: Racial Capitalism and Political Community from the Americas to the Globe (under contract, Duke UP) and The Oxford Handbook of the History of the Global South (under contract). Mahler frequently gives lectures at public and academic institutions around the globe and contributes to podcasts, magazines and periodicals, like Vogue JapanThe Washington PostNew Books NetworkBlack Agenda Report, and Revista Común (Mexico City). Her work has inspired exhibits in New York City, Chicago, Charlottesville, and Torrance, California. See

Debra Lennard is a curatorial assistant in the Department of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She holds a PhD in Art History from The Graduate Center, City University of New York, having previously studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London and the University of Cambridge. Her work focuses on modern art in global perspective, with her interests including modernisms formed in colonial and decolonial contexts; international networks and exchanges that grew out of debates over form post-1945; and issues of visuality in the representation of race. She has previously been a Curatorial Assistant at the Hayward Gallery in London and an Andrew W. Mellon curatorial fellow at the James Gallery, and worked in curatorial capacities at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, Tate Britain, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Her writing on art has appeared in publications including Artforumfrieze, and Hyperallergic. In the fall of 2019, she organized the exhibition Notes on Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in Print, which helped inspire this episode.


For permission to use sound clips from the event “Tricontinentalism in Perspective,” featuring Anne Garland Mahler, Prexy Nesbitt, Robyn C. Spencer, and Debra Lennard (October 17, 2019), we thank the James Gallery, in particular Katherine Carl and Debra Lennard

For the text of Fidel Castro, “Palabras a los Intelectuales / Speech to Intellectuals,” we thank the Latin American Network Information Center at the University of Texas

Clips of Jane Norling and Miranda Bergman taken from the film “People’s Wall,” by the Haight Ashbury Film Collective (1976)


Intro music: South Pause, “Blaze Out” (via Epidemic Sound)

Lena Horne, “Now” (1963) via Santiago Álvarez’s newsreel film “Now” (1965)

Max Roach and Abby Lincoln, “Freedom Day” (1961)

Outro Music: Pearce Roswell, “Work Undone” (via Epidemic Sound)

Links for Further Information:

From Our Guests in This Episode

Exhibition Page for “Notes on Solidarity: Tricontinentalism in Print,” curated by Debra Lennard (The James Gallery, September 10, 2019 – November 2, 2019)

Anne Garland Mahler’s book From the Tricontinental to the Global South: Race, Radicalism, and Transnational Solidarity (2018)

“Tricontinentalism in Perspective,” featuring Anne Garland Mahler, Prexy Nesbitt, Robyn C. Spencer, and Debra Lennard (October 17, 2019, James Gallery)

Anne Garland Mahler in conversation with Sharika Crawford discussing Tricontinentalism

Debra Lennard on art and anti-colonialism

More on Art, Culture, and the Tricontinental Movement

Sample issues of Tricontinental magazine (1970)

Santiago Álvarez’s newsreel film “Now” (1965)

Día de Solidaridad Mundial con la Lucha del Pueblo de Puerto Rico/Day of World Solidarity with the Struggle of the People of Puerto Rico (1973), created by Jane Norling while on the staff of OSPAAAL in Havana

Website for the life and work of Jane Norling

Information on Jane Norling and Miranda Bergman’s public mural “Our History Is No Mystery” (1976) and the film “People’s Wall,” produced by the Haight Ashbury Collective

Josh MacPhee, “Constructing Third World Struggle: the Design of the OSPAAAL & Tricontinental” (February 28, 2019)

“Solidarity and Design: An Introduction to OSPAAAL,” exhbition at the V&A South Kensington, September 2022-March 2023

A gallery of posters produced for OSPAAAL

Julia Métraux, “Anti-Imperialist Propaganda Posters from OSPAAAL” (September 9, 2020)

Interference Archive (Brooklyn, NY), who hold a large collection of OSPAAAL posters

Latin American Network Information Center at the University of Texas

Feature art: OSPAAAL poster, no copyright

Theme: Overlay by Kaira
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