Kate Kretz is an artist who makes statements out of deconstructing the familiar, red “Make America Great Again” hats and turning them into historical symbols of extreme racism. Facebook and Instagram suspended Kretz after she posted photos of her artwork on the respective platforms.
She is set on denouncing the MAGA movement by turning the hats into other things, like the Ku Klux Klan hood or a swastika armband. The use of the swastika in her designs may have pushed the social media companies into thinking she was an extremist.
In early May, pictures of her artwork were deleted from Facebook.
Kretz then reposted the photos with “prominent text explaining that they were artworks.” Her official account was then suspended on May 9.
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) May 14, 2019
On Saturday, her Instagram account was also suspended. The suspension was something she foreshadowed happening, as her image was being reported by “Trump trolls.”
THIS IS THE IMAGE I POSTED ON IG WITH EXPLANATORY TEXT ON IT… IT IS BEING REPORTED BY TRUMP TROLLS NOW. MY IG ACCOUNT MAY DISAPPEAR SOON. Thanks guys! You are making me famous. 48,000 people have looked at at my… https://t.co/frKoPyfjBH
— Kate Kretz (@kkretz4art) May 25, 2019
“I have been ordering MAGA hats (all knockoffs, with the exception of one), ripping them apart, and then sewing them back together into traditional symbols of hatred,” the artist wrote in a Medium post on May 20.
Her post, denouncing the situation, has been read by almost 50,000 people as of Sunday morning.
An online petition is now seeking to reinstate her Facebook account and has garnered about 500 signatures so far.
“It is important for Artists who we agree or disagree with to be able to show their work,” A De Carlo, the person who started the petition, wrote. “Many make their living via social media platforms. Not only is this an issue of artistic freedom but of livelihood.”
Kretz’s artwork, “The MAGA hat collection,” is part of a larger series dubbed #bullyculture. The collection is going to be showcased at a California-based art gallery this July.
She wrote that she hopes her new exhibition will “sound the alarm that history is repeating itself.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to Facebook, Instagram, and Kate Kretz.
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H/T Fox KTVU
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