12 Articles by: Billie Anania

Billie Anania is an editor, organizer, and journalist in Brooklyn whose work focuses on political economy in the cultural industries and the history of art in global liberation movements.

The Radical Printmaking of Käthe Kollwitz

Käthe Kollwitz was a radical printmaker with deep political commitments. From the last days of the German Empire until the end of the Third Reich, she gave visual expression to workers’ rebellion and loss, never losing hope in the socialist world to come.


Langston Hughes Was a Lifelong Socialist

In the 1930s and ’40s, Langston Hughes wrote poetic tributes to the working class and socialist leaders worldwide. Some critics allege he abandoned his principles later in life, but they ignore the role of McCarthyist oppression — and Hughes’s creative resistance to it.

The Ashcan School Painted the American Working Class

In the years before the Great Depression, the “Ashcan” school of painters rejected the cultural norms of the art market. It opted instead for an American realism that took its inspiration from the lives of dock workers, street vendors, and immigrant families in the country’s modernizing cities.

When Detroit Was Revolutionary

In the 1960s and 1970s, when Detroit was home to a vibrant radical Left, photographer Leni Sinclair, cofounder of the White Panther Party and the Detroit Artists Workshop, stood at the center of a local scene where political and cultural ferment merged. We spoke to her about those years of upsurge.

Alice Neel, Painter of the People

The 20th-century American portrait painter Alice Neel was often misunderstood by art critics throughout her career. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new Neel retrospective, “People Come First,” recontextualizes her career as a painter of the human condition whose socialist politics were central to her work.