[image-1]Featuring black classical composers and performers from around the world, the fifth annual Colour of Music Festival showcases the works of black musicians whose names have been historically overlooked in the U.S.

The festival, which started Wednesday, has revealed its 2017 poster design, and it’s incredibly timely.

Designed by Charleston-based artist Colin Quashie and graphic designer Gil Shuler, the poster features a five string violin, which is meant to represent the fifth year of the festival. The violin then morphs into a closed fist, which Quashie says is a symbol of “unity, solidarity, support.” Quashie also says that they wanted to leave the strings white because “historically classical music has always been seen as a white European construct.”

Shuler, who has known Quashie for 25 years, helped with the graphic design end of things (he hand drew the type) and says when he first saw Quashie’s image he thought, “man that image kicks ass, I’m all about it.” Quashie says the fist also symbolizes the defiance of artists like 18th century virtuoso violinist and conductor of the leading symphony orchestra in Paris, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who had to fight to be recognized among their white contemporaries. 

We’ve recently seen the reemergence of the raised fist. The symbol first appeared in the national spotlight during the 1968 Olympics when the USA’s Tommie Smith and John Carlos lowered their heads and raised their firsts during the national anthem.

The fist has since evolved into the #takeaknee movement started by Colin Kaepernick in August 2016, who 50 years after the ’68 Olympics is still protesting racial inequality in America.

You can purchase the 2017 24 x 36 festival poster online, or onsite at any event through Sunday — find the full festival of events on the CP calendar.