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We Can Be Heroes



Emory Douglas

United States of America

24 May 1943 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Brisbane Queensland Australia
    Cultural origin
    Media category
    Materials used
    synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    180.0 x 240.0 cm
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Wendy Barron Bequest Fund 2015
    Yiribana Gallery
    Accession number
    © Richard Bell & Emory Douglas, courtesy Milani Gallery, Brisbane

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Richard Bell

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


    Artist information
    Emory Douglas

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Richard Bell and Emory Douglas’ collaborative project brings into conversation their respective art practices along with the Indigenous rights movements of Australia and the Black Power movement of America.

    The controversial Bell is one of Australia's most renowned Indigenous artists. With a penchant for sarcasm he explores stereotypes and racism through his self-titled 'Liberation art'. Douglas may be considered in a similar vein as the Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party who was also the art director, designer and main illustrator for the The Black Panther newspaper, creating iconic images that represented the struggles in America during the 1960s and 1970s.

    'We Can Be Heroes' 2014 depicts the moment during the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games when Australian sprinter, Peter Norman stood in solidarity with African American sportsmen Tommie Smith and John Carlos to protest discrimination and inequality. Although Norman is remembered as an important advocate of civil rights within America, he remains relatively forgotten within Australian history.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Cara Pinchbeck, Look, 'When silence falls', pg. 24-26, Sydney, Dec 2015-Jan 2016, 25 (colour illus.), 26.

Other works by Richard Bell