Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday
Packaging // Music // Social Change // Exhibition
Strange Fruit, a song by Billie Holiday is a harrowing and brave protest against lynching in America, first sung in 1939 in Cafe Society Club, NYC.
The Song //
‘’Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees...”
Each limited edition album comes with one CD, a scraper board, a prepaid envelope and a set of instructions on what to do.
The two missing CD’s are available upon collection from other states in America where only specifics CD’s are sold, this is a method of encouraging interstate travel in an atempt to further tackle cultural divides.
The inspiration for the scraperboards came from sickening photographic postcards of lynchings that were sent around as
souvenirs by the white community.
Each CD resembles a part of the songs narrative. The eye representing the human, the rope, linking to the noose, and the tree that people were hung from.
Scraperboard Examples //
Whilst listening to the songs each participant scraped their thoughts or feelings onto the board, producing a range of pieces, from literal to more abstract.
The exhibition is a collection of all of the black scraper boards in an all white environment. Each visitor would listen to the song on headphones whilst navigating the space. Some boards are left blank as an interactive element for visitors to scrape a design onto whilst they are in the exhibition.