National Union of Plastic Artists (UNAP) By Cubbon, Alexandra
The National Union of Plastic Artists (UNAP) exists in many decolonized nations as a professional organization, an artists ’ union, that elevates the work of formerly subjugated populations, whose art and arts infrastructure suffered neglect and sometimes ruin under colonial and imperial regimes. Some prominent examples are the unions in Algeria, Angola, and Nicaragua. In 1963, within a year of independence, Algerian painter Bachir Yellès founded Union Nationale des Arts Plastiques (UNAP), now known as Union Nationale des Arts Culturels (UNAC), in a pioneering effort to flatten the hierarchy between European and Algerian art. The celebration of artistic independence and the promotion of economic security for artists in the postcolonial era have motivated the establishment of unions such as UNAC across the globe.