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Philjames The General Lee (1984–2018)

oil on archival pigment print on cotton rag (colour photograph from artist’s personal archive)

106 x 158 cm; 110.5 x 162.5 cm framed

This is a photo of my siblings and me watching The Dukes of Hazzard when we were little. On screen is ‘The General Lee’, which at the time I just thought was a dope car with a cool pattern on the roof (the confederate flag), completely unaware of American/world history and equally unaware of the history of my country. I’m increasingly interested in just how much politics was fed to me as a child. The characters are quoted from 1940s Hollywood animation studios, which produced propaganda for the US military.

While I cherish this family moment, I realise how pervasive media can be in shaping young minds.

Philjames, 2020