On a very hot Wednesday evening, September 5th, I delivered the 2018 Vanka Lecture at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale, PA, just across the river from Pittsburgh. The lecture, hosted by the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka, was entitled “Picturing Injustice.” In it, I analyzed three of Vanka’s murals —The Capitalist, Croatian Mother Raises Her Son for War, and Immigrant Mother Gives Her Sons for American Industry—to illustrate the artist’s gift for representing structural injustices pictorially. Goodhart argued that developing the ability to picture and discuss injustice in straightforward and compelling ways crucially aids our struggles for a better world and helps us to counter the demagoguery and scapegoating that offer simplistic analysis and easy answers in Vanka’s time and in our own.
Why was I asked to give this lecture? One of the murals, Injustice, appears on the cover of my new book, Injustice: Political Theory for the Real World.