Thursday, April 8, 2010

Poster(s) of the Week

Support the Pittston Strikers!

Carlos Cortez

Linocut, 1989

Chicago, Illinois

In 1989, the United Mine Workers (UMW) in Virginia launched a strike against the Pittston Coal Group, Inc. The ten-month long strike, marred by violence, was ended by the UMW when the contract was ratified in February 1990. The struggle continued to be fought in the courts for several years.

As President Obama tries to convince people that “clean coal” is possible, two coal mining disasters just took place.

· Last week, an explosion in China trapped 153 in a flooded mine. It was announced yesterday (April 7, 2010), that 115 have been pulled out alive.

· At least 29 coal miners died this week in Virginia, in the worst US mining disaster in the last 40 years.

The West Virginia coal mine disaster turns a harsh spotlight on the safety record of the mine's owner, which has paid record fines for safety and environmental violations. Virginia-based Massey Energy Co. has racked up millions of dollars in penalties in recent years. The Montcoal, West Virginia, mine where Monday's fatal explosion took place received 458 citations from federal inspectors in 2009, and more than 50 of those were for problems that the operators knew about but had not corrected, according to federal mine safety records. (source: CNN)

I Pledge Allegiance

Louis “Lou” Dorfsman

Offset, 1970

New York, New York

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968 and the featured poster commemorates this American tragedy in an ironic and provocative way. It was originally designed as a full-page newspaper ad for CBS’ “Of Black America,” the first network series on black history. The six episodes were broadcast July 2-September 2, 1968. Designed soon after King’s assassination, the mustached model has a strong resemblance to the martyred civil rights activist. Two years later, the image was made into a now iconic poster featuring words of the Pledge of Allegiance. Where the 1968 design evoked King’s assassination, the 1970 version evoked the Viet Nam War, and the disproportionate number of African American soldiers who both served in and died in this war.

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