Alaska Women Reject Palin

There’s a special zing to criticism from “one’s own:” veterans against the war, 9/11 families critical of the memorial and investigation, or, say, Alaska women rejecting Sarah Palin.

Some are calling last week’s 1,500 strong protest in front of the Loussac Library in Anchorage the biggest political rally in the history of the state. The protest has reverberated throughout the Internet as well, forwarded by email and blog. As of this writing, Google turns up 19,100 hits. Propelling it along are photos of the cheeky, hand-made posters used at the event.

The protest started with a small group of women, talking over coffee. They printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. Word was also spread by a conservative radio host who mocked them on the air. No doubt the free publicity helped. Read more about the protest here.

>  23 September 2008 | LINK | Filed in ,


It’s among the most recognizable images in Holland. The poster below was drawn by Opland, the pseudonym of Rob Wout, one of Holland’s most popular political cartoonists in the second-half of the twentieth century. For 53 years, from age 19 until his death in 2001, Opland drew caricatures and political cartoons for De Volkskrant and De Groene Amsterdammer. In 1981, at a high point in his career, Opland contributed this cartoon to the anti-nuclear movement. The slogan reads ‘No new nuclear weapons in Europe.’ It became one of his most famous images in the peace movement outside the Netherlands, as well. The image is a nice mix of humor and outrage, clarity and simplicity, with a dash of familiarity. How could you say no to her?

New New Nuclear Weapons in Europe

The anti-nuclear movement in Holland had been active through the late-1970’s and in 1978 an unexpected coalition of Communists, leftists, and religious groups organized nation-wide protests and petitions that successfully pressured the center-right government to disallow U.S. neutron warheads in the Netherlands. However, a year later Prime Minister van Agt endorsed NATO plans to deploy additional U.S. nuclear warheads to Holland, though in deference to domestic pressure, postponed a final decision. Citizens were outraged and took to the streets, holding one of Amsterdam’s largest protests ever in November 1981. American pundit Walter Laqueur coined the term Hollanditis to describe the movement and its influence on other European countries, particularly West Germany. Around a quarter of the population of the Netherlands signed a petition against the deployment and the movement culminated in a record-breaking one million strong demonstration in The Hague in 1983. In May 1984, a nation-wide week of protest was held and 900,000 people participated in a 15-minute general strike.

Still, on November 1, 1985, after the Soviet Union failed to comply with a Dutch ultimatum and in a period of escalating cold war tensions, the Dutch parliament voted to allow 48 American missiles on Dutch soil, to deploy by 1988. In the end, the new warheads never arrived. In 1987 the Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to eliminate intermediate range missiles.

>  22 September 2008 | LINK | Filed in ,
Sex Up the Dossier. I love the energy of Favianna’s new anti-war poster designs for CODEPINK.
CODEPINK Posters for Peace
>  17 September 2008 | LINK | Filed in ,

Call for Entries: Grafica Politica #2

Got something to say to the Republicans? Grupo Soap del Corazón, a Latino artists’ group in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, has sent out a call for posters protesting the Republicans at the RNC in Saint Paul this fall. There are a few rules: they are asking for at least three posters of your image (one for public pasting, one for an exhibition, and one for archiving) and at least five posters must be placed in your own community. You must also submit a digital photo of your poster in context. See Just Seeds and the Groundswell Blog for more detail.
>  26 July 2008 | LINK | Filed in

Work! Not War!

>  24 July 2008 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

We All Teach All the Time

Argument Poster

>  13 July 2008 | LINK | Filed in ,
Print Art and Revolution in Mexico. “Although Mexico’s contribution to social-movement murals is well documented, much less is known about Mexico’s activist graphic arts history.... Deborah Caplow’s excellent book goes a long way toward informing us about the explosive combination of art, artists, politics, and printmaking in Mexico during the mid-1900s.” Radical librarian Lincoln Cushing reviews Leopoldo Méndez: Revolutionary Art and the Mexican Print.

Méndez was a founder and leader of the Taller de Gráfica Popular.
Mendez Snake
>  28 June 2008 | LINK | Filed in , ,
The most useful subway poster you'll never see. The story of Vignelli's subway map is fairly well known, but I hadn't seen his route poster before. The poster is an elegant table of every major station in the subway system and how to get there from your current station, listing which line to take and where to transfer.
Vignelli Directions Poster
>  18 June 2008 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Making Policy Public: Call for Designers

Social Security Risk MachineThe Center for Urban Pedagogy sends along this open call for designers for its series of borchure-and-poster visual briefs on vital issues in US policy. Their text:

“Making Policy Public, CUP’s new collaborative series of publications, uses innovative graphic design to explore and explain public policy. Our distinguished jury has selected advocates’ proposals for the next issues of Making Policy Public. We are now seeking designers to collaborate with these advocates to illuminate the issues. Designers chosen through the juried submission process will receive full attribution for their work, an honorarium of $1000, and publicity through CUP.”

See the four policy briefs for 2008, as well as previous briefs on The Cargo Chain and The Social Security Risk Machine.

Expressions of interest and a limited portfolio are due Monday, June 16.

For submission guidelines and more about the project, visit the Making Policy Public website:

>  27 May 2008 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Art Workers’ Coalition

From Wikipedia:

“The Art Workers’ Coalition (AWC) was an open coalition of artists, filmmakers, writers, critics, and museum staff that formed in New York City in January 1969. Its principal aim was to pressure the city’s museums – notably the Museum of Modern Art – into implementing various reforms. These included a more open and less exclusive exhibition policy concerning the artists they exhibited and promoted: the absence of women artists and artists of color was a principal issue of contention; free public access: the coalition successfully pressured the MoMA and other museums into implementing a free admission day that still exists to this day. It also pressured and picketed museums into taking a moral stance on the Vietnam War which resulted in its famous My Lai poster, one of the most important works of political art of the early 1970s. The poster was displayed during demonstrations in front of Pablo Picasso’s Guernica at the MoMA in 1970.”

Q. And Babies? A. And Babies.

From Victor Margolin, “Rebellion, Reform, and Revolution: American Graphic Design for Social Change:”

“The Museum of Modem Art had promised to help distribute the poster but the trustees withdrew the agreement, going against the wishes of the staff. Member of the Art Workers’ Coalition picketed the museum in protest and stamped some of the 50,000 copies they distributed with the message, ‘This poster was originally co-sponsored by the Museum of Modem Art. On December 18, 1969, trustee William S. Paley forbad the museum to associate its name with it.’”

>  25 May 2008 | LINK | Filed in ,

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