Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Poster of the Week

Pro Choice
Medusa
Offset, 1989
United States
3910

The new GOP-controlled Congress is trying to pass a national abortion bill so extreme that even some Republican congresswomen oppose it, out of concern that it will alienate young voters and women.

On Thursday, January 22, 2015—the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion across the country—the House Republicans will vote on a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks.  The bill will also narrow the definition of rape.
To read more:

http://wwww.alternet.org/civil-liberties/republican-abortion-bill-so-extreme-even-gop-congresswomen-balk

Friday, January 16, 2015

Poster of the Week

Living the Dream
Earl Newman
Silkscreen, circa 1974
Summit, Oregon
12148

Text:
"Sooner Or Later, All The People Of The World Will Have To Discover A Way To Live Together In Peace."  Living the Dream  Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929-1968

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Poster of the Week

Break one, thousand will rise
Lucille Clerc
London
2015

Artists around the world have responded to the tragic murder this week of 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a French satirical magazine, with powerful graphics expressing grief and renewed commitment to defend free speech.  Four of the magazine's well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.

Charlie Hebdo is a publication that has always courted controversy with satirical attacks on political and religious leaders. It published cartoons of Muhammad in 2012, forcing France to temporarily close embassies and schools in more than 20 countries amid fears of reprisals. Its offices were also firebombed in November 2011 after publishing a caricature of Muhammad on its cover.

CSPG’s Poster of the Week features a powerful graphic by Lucille Clerc, a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in London.  To see more graphics and more information, please visit the sites below.
 
Sources (including many graphics):

http://www.lucilleclerc.com/

http://www.buzzfeed.com/ryanhatesthis/heartbreaking-cartoons-from-artists-in-response-to-the-ch?bftw&utm_term=4ldqpfp#.et5qbYQgb

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/1/8/scholar_tariq_ramadan_harpers_rick_macarthur

http://www.democracynow.org/topics/charlie_hebdo_attack

http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2015/1/8/cartoonists_lives_matter_art_spiegelman_responds

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/paris-magazine-attack/charlie-hebdo-shooting-12-killed-muhammad-cartoons-magazine-paris-n281266

http://abcnews.go.com/International/cartoonists-react-charlie-hebdo-shooting/story?id=28065848

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30710883

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Poster of the Week

El Futuro es la Paz/
The Future is Peace

Asela Pérez
Comisión Permanente
Offset, 1978
Havana, Cuba
XI Festival Mundial De La Juventud Y Los Estudiantes
33422

El Futuro Es La Paz/The Future is Peace

Many Cuban posters are multilingual, especially those intended for export. Spanish, English, Arabic and French are used the most frequently. This stunning poster contains six languages (Spanish, English, Russian, Arabic, French), and was designed by Asela Pérez Bolado (1931-2001). She received a degree in journalism from the University of Havana, won first prize in major Cuban exhibitions, including the National Poster Salon in 1978. She also served as staff graphic artist for Editora Politica, a department of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party, which is responsible for disseminating the policy of the Cuban government. 

The poster was produced for the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students, an international event organized jointly since 1947 by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Union of Students. The event is held in different countries, generally every two, three or four years, and in 1978 it was held in Havana, Cuba. The primary themes are anti-imperialism and peace.

Sources:
http://www.cubaencuentro.com/directorios/casas-editoriales/editora-politica
http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festival_Mundial_de_la_Juventud_y_los_Estudiantes
Lincoln Cushing: Revolucion! Cuban Poster Art, Chronicle Books, 2003

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Poster of the Week

Obama...Give Me Five!
Jorge Martell, design
Gonzalo Canetti, photo
Digital Print, 2012
Oakland, CA

CSPG's Poster of the Week celebrates the release of the Cuban 5 and Obama's move towards normalizing relations with Cuba.

The Cuban 5, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, were arrested by the FBI in 1998. All were convicted in 2001 of conspiracy to commit espionage against the United States. The trial was held in Miami, Florida, a center of Cuban exile hostility to the Cuban revolution, where no fair trial was possible.

The Cuban 5 neither committed nor intended to commit espionage against the U.S. They were sent to the U.S. to monitor anti-Cuban terrorist organizations in Miami responsible for bombings and deaths in Cuba.  Since the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959, Cuba had been the victim of more terrorist attacks than any other country in the world, killing 3,478 and injuring 2,099. The vastly majority of those attacks originated in southern Florida, by groups tolerated and partly financed by the US government.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review their case in 2009. Fernando González has been on parole since October, 2011 after serving every single day of his 13 year term. René González was released from prison earlier this year, but remained on parole.  To avoid being forced to remain IN MIAMI ON PAROLE, Rene, a natural-born US citizen, had to give up his US citizenship. As of December 17, 2014, after more than 16 years, the 3 remaining members of the Cuban 5 were finally freed and all are now home in Cuba.

Next wish for the New Year:  End the Blockade!

For more information on the Cuban 5:
http://www.thecuban5.org/the-case/

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

POSTER OF THE WEEK:

 

 
Torturing Detainees Off of U.S. Soil Since December 2001
Mike Gavayan
Digital Print, 2005
Frostburg, MD
24908

The nation is currently shocked by the grisly revelations contained in a Senate report released this week of the torture carried out by the CIA. Yet CSPG's Poster of the Week was made nearly a decade ago. The awareness that the U.S. has long been torturing people is known to the world. To be outraged now is not due to historical amnesia, but due to purposeful obfuscation by politicians and the corporate media.

The Guardian (London) commented, "While parts of the programme had been known - and much more will never be revealed - the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch." Although the report is highly redacted, the tortures it lists include waterboarding, rectal feeding, sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, mock executions and Russian roulette, sexual abuse, threatening detainees' parents and children, and more. The report also describes how the CIA gave inaccurate information to Congress, to journalists, and that White House wanted to ensure that Secretary of State Colin Powell be "kept in the dark."

In spite of escalating calls to punish the perpetrators, the Obama administration continues to wage what journalist Glenn Greenwald called, "aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the war on terror crimes committed by Bush officials."

When will we demand justice!

CSPG's Poster of the Week was made by Mike Gavayan, at the time a student in Fereshteh Toosi's Introduction to Graphic Design class at Frostburg State University, Maryland. Gavayan places the horrific photo of the hooded man, the most iconic of the photos of U.S. torture victims from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, in front of red, white, and blue, to refer to torture as an American tradition. The only thing missing are the electric wires dangling from the victims fingers, featured in the original photo.

To read more about how this poster came about, read Fereshteh Toosi's letter below, in which she describes the assignment and the students' reactions.

Sources:
http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-report-worst-findings-waterboard-rectal

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/obama-justice-department-immunity-bush-cia-torturer   [Glenn Greenwald]

Fereshteh Toosi is an interdisciplinary, Chicago-based artist.  In 2005/6  she taught a Graphic Design class in Maryland.  Her students were asked to create posters for CSPG's Prison Nation exhibition.

Asking my students to create posters for the Center for the Study of Political Graphics' "Prison Nation" exhibit was one of the most valuable teaching moments from my first semester as instructor of ART 207: Introduction to Graphic Design at Frostburg State University. Located in a small rural town in western Maryland, students in the 2 sections of this class were a mix of art and communications majors at different stages in their academic careers. In terms of my pedagogical goals, it was important to provide them with a real-world design problem that was not directed towards a commercial end. The CSPG's call for entries seemed an ideal opportunity to direct the students in the importance of developing process, research methods, and techniques for idea-generation.

My own awareness about the prison industrial complex came about during my time as a student at Oberlin College, but it happened outside of the classroom. In the mid 1990s the Mumia Abu Jamal case was a popular cause on college campuses and I learned about the larger problems of prisons and prisoners' rights through friends who were well-informed and passionate about activism around this issue. I was lucky in this regard. Most young people in this country do not gain knowledge about the severity of prison issues through formal college education or mass media. It continues to be something many Americans choose to ignore. As an educator I was excited by the prospect of asking students to develop their design skills while addressing such a topic. 

When I initially announced the premise for the project, many students were disappointed and annoyed. Several dismissed it quickly, joking about the need to "lock criminals up and throw away the key". "Just kill 'em all!" or "I don't give a damn about these people" were common remarks. I had left the topic open to interpretation, but I was concerned that too many students had already made up their minds that it was not worth further investigation. I knew I needed something that would make an impact. In our small university video library I found only two videos with any mention of prison issues. The Eyes on the Prize documentary series addresses the 1971 rebellion in New York's Attica prison, which I chose to screen along with footage from the Stanford prison psychology experiment of that same year. My lessons included information on the parallels between then and now, as well examples of political posters from the last century. To this end we were very fortunate to have access to the art in the CSPG's on-line collection.

Students became more motivated to investigate the topic further, and this is when the real discoveries began. Comments changed in tone: "This is too depressing" was the new complaint. I'm not sure if anyone radically changed their viewpoint on any particular issue, but I was pleased to see them embrace the challenge to find compelling creative solutions to expose a very complex social cause. Also important was the way in which creating a poster for the CSPG expanded students' notions of the purpose of design. I am grateful for the teaching opportunity that this exhibit provided, and my students are proud to be involved. Thank you for including us.

Fereshteh Toosi
March 2006
 


2nd Featured Poster of the Week 

The struggle for justice continues to be stymied.  Last week a Missouri grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.  This week a New York grand jury cleared an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner, also unarmed and black. Garner's death was caught-on-video and the only people arrested were the videographer and his wife.  As 1000s continue to demonstrate across the country against this blatant impunity, we must recognize that these events are not isolated incidents, but a consistent part of U.S. government policy, at home and abroad.  45 years ago today, Fred Hampton, head of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, was assassinated by the FBI.  His poster and story are below.

POSTER OF THE WEEK
  

Fred Hampton - We, the People
          Artist Unknown
          Offset, 1970
          United States
          6225


Fred Hampton (1948 -1969)  Born in Illinois, Hampton was a student leader in high school and an activist with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1968, he joined the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, and quickly became the Illinois State Chair of the organization. Hampton organized weekly rallies, taught political education classes, attended the Breakfast for Children program daily, and helped establish the Free People's Clinic on Chicago's West Side. A powerful and eloquent speaker, he was set to be appointed the Party's Central Committee as Chief of Staff in November 1970. Fearing Hampton's ability to spread the Panther's message, the FBI, through an informant, obtained a floorplan of his apartment. The same informant gave Hampton a drugged hot chocolate before he went to bed on December 3 to ensure he wouldn't wake up. At 4:30 a.m. on December 3, 1969, the FBI raided the apartment, killing Hampton and Panther Mark Clark, and wounding several others.

This poster merges the assassination of Fred Hampton with images of the My Lai Massacre. On March 16th, 1968, U.S. troops arrived in the village of My Lai in the northern province of South Viet Nam. The soldiers opened fire even though they had not come under attack. The violence quickly escalated into an orgy of killing. More than 500 villagers were murdered, most of them women, children and the elderly. The massacre was kept secret from the U.S. public for over a year, until investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the story about the massacre and its cover-up on November 12th, 1969. When the massacre was uncovered, it proved to be a turning point for American public opinion about the war. Hersh was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his expose. Fortyfive years later, Hersh is still breaking stories about war. In 2004, he exposed the Abu Ghraib scandal in The New Yorker magazine, also a turning point for U.S. public opinion about the current wars.
  
When will we ever learn?