Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Posters of the Week

For All These Rights We've Just Begun to Fight
Ben Shahn
CIO Political Action Committee
Lithograph. 1946
New York, NY

Ben Shahn (1898 –1969) was a Lithuanian-born American artist, whose paintings, graphics and posters cry out for social justice. His work covered some of the most controversial issues of the day. In 1932 he completed a series on the still controversial trials of Sacco and Vanzetti, Italian immigrant labor organizers and anarchists who were executed in 1927. During World War II he worked for the U.S. Government Office of War Information (OWI) designing propaganda posters. Because his work lacked the preferred patriotism of the day only two of his posters were published. But both were memorable, especially a 1942 poster about Nazi extermination of the entire Czech village of Lidice. After the war, his work ranged from opposing nuclear weapons to supporting civil rights.

CSPG’s Poster-of-the-Week was done shortly after WWII. The enemy was no longer the Nazis, but attacks on working people and unions by the reactionary right in the U.S. Just like now. We dedicate the Poster-of-the-Week to the public employees and their supporters in Wisconsin who are fighting back, in some of the most creative and spirited ways we’ve seen in years. One protester even credited the Egyptians for inspiring the actions in the U.S. And the Wisconsin actions have in turn inspired actions in Ohio, Indiana, and support demonstrations around the country.

If you have posters about this or other issues, please send them to us.

Posted by Bruce Benidt on

Friday, February 4, 2011

Poster of the Week

Walk Like an Egyptian
Mr. Fish
Reprinted by permission of Truthdig

CSPG’s Poster-of-the-Week celebrates the courage, determination and optimism of the Egyptian people as they continue to fight against the 30 year long dictatorship of President Hosni Mubarak. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Mansoura, Sharqiya and elsewhere, in an unprecedented display of popular protest. After days of primarily peaceful…and hopeful…protest, the Mubarek regime’s secret police began attacking the demonstrators this week.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, can’t decide whether to continue supporting a long-time ally, although brutal and corrupt, or support the secular democracy movement. Egypt is the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the world—only Israel receives more—and the bullets, tear gas and other weapons being used against the Egyptian people were made in the U.S.A.

Walk Like an Egyptian by Mr. Fish, gives the revolutionary Che Guevara an Egyptian focus by giving Alberto Korda’s icon photo of Che the face of Pharoah Tutankhamun— popularly known as “King Tut.” Mr. Fish is the pen name for Dwayne Booth, whose brilliant editorial cartoons appear in, LA Weekly, MSNBC, and Harper’s Magazine.

For those of you who haven’t been glued to Aljazeera English, the events in Egypt were inspired by the overthrow last month of Tunisia’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali following 23 years of iron-fisted rule. Virtually unprecedented in modern Arab history, the populist uprising sent an ominous message to authoritarian governments that dominate the region. His ouster continues to inspire the pro-democracy demonstrations that are spreading across the Middle East. In addition to Egypt, popular revolts and demonstrations are also taking place in Algeria, Jordan, Syria, and Yemen.