The Uses of Anger, November 20, 2015—January 17, 2016


The Uses of Anger

November 20, 2015—January 17, 2016

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 20, 6 to 9 PM

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division presents The Uses of Anger, an exhibition of contemporary and historical activist materials

Download a PDF of the press release.


How do we use our rage? When confronted with injustice after injustice, what do we do with our anger? Audre Lorde, using an excerpt from one of her poems in her 1981 talk “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,” argues


everything can be used

except what is wasteful

(you will need

to remember this when you are accused of destruction.)*


Lorde went on to say “Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change.”


The Uses of Anger is an exhibition of activist materials born of rage in response to a variety of injustices, including: physical and psychological violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, and others who do not conform to established gender conventions; police violence against people of color; efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortions; the failures of governmental and medical institutions to adequately address the AIDS/HIV crisis. These posters, flyers, tee shirts, and other materials give voice to the anger that these injustices inspire. The Uses of Anger includes materials from the following groups:



Black Lives Matter. NYC Shut It Down: The Grand Central Crew

Fierce Pussy

Gran Fury

Lesbian Avengers

Occupy Wall Street

Queer Nation

and more!

The Uses of Anger is organized by Charlie Welch and Greg Newton with help from Elsa Waithe. On view at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division from November 20, 2015 through January 17, 2016.

Opening reception on Friday, November 20, 6 to 9 PM.


*From “For Each of You,” first published in From a Land Where Other People Live (Broadside Press, Detroit, 1973), and collected in The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde (W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1997), 59.

“The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,” in Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches (Crossing Press, Berkeley, 1984), 124-133.


The Bureau will host the following events in conjunction with the exhibition:


Friday, November 27, 7 PM

Affirmative Laughter: African American Friday Edition

Hosted by Elsa Waithe


Sunday, December 6, 6 PM

Screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP (2012, 93 minutes).  Following the screening director Jim Hubbard and producer Sarah Schulman will engage the audience in discussion.  This event is co-presented by The LGBT Community Center and the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division in room 301 of The Center.


Thursday, January 7, 7 PM

HIV/AIDS activist Kyle Bella reports on his recent visit to South Africa. Details forthcoming.


Friday, January 15, 7 PM

Screening of Tongues Untied (1989, 55 minutes). Directed by Marlon Riggs. Followed by a panel discussion led by Sean Apparicio. Details forthcoming.