Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Poster of the Week

Stop Global Warming
Peggy White
Ultrachrome print, 2009
Kansas City, Missouri

The unfolding disaster in the Philippines is evoked by CSPG’s Poster of the Week.  Super Typhoon Haiyan, aka Yolanda, one of the strongest storms in recorded history to make landfall, slammed the Philippines, killing an estimated 10,000 people in the city of Tacloban alone. Sustained winds of up to 195 miles per hour with gusts of up to 235 mph, generated huge, tsunami-like waves—from 10 to more than 30 feet high (some reports say up to 45 feet high)—that battered the island, destroying 70-80% of the buildings and roads. 1/6th of the entire population is without food, clean water and shelter. 

Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, said, “Typhoons take their energy from the heat of the oceans, and they convert it to the energy of their winds. In a storm like this that gets wound up to Category 5 status, it’s going to pile up a huge area of water that will then come ashore with it as it makes landfall. And that’s what happened in Tacloban. The wall of water that came in, probably at least 10 or 15 feet high, was pushed by these Category 5 winds right into the heart of this downtown area… rising sea levels caused by global warming increased the size of the storm’s surge, while the heating of the oceans threatens more extreme storms that could form into typhoons.”

Peggy White appropriated Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa (1832) to call attention to global warming.  Hokusai’s Wave, one of the best known Japanese art works in the world, has been used to denounce pollution of the air, land, and seas, and relate this to global warming, flooding and other ecological disasters.  In the Hokusai, nature is the primary power; in this adaptation, human interference has caused nature to become even more destructive.

Poster artists have used Hokusai’s wave for a variety of topics since the 1970s if not earlier, but its use has increased over the last decade as awareness of climate change continues to grow. Unfortunately, as long as governments and corporations put profits over people, the environmental pollution that causes climate change continues to escalate. 

SIGN PETITION To UN Climate negotiators
Governments are meeting in Warsaw the next two weeks for the annual UN climate negotiations. This ritual has dragged on for years without conclusion, largely because the great powers have done so little. On days like these, their inaction amounts to mockery. So Bill McGibbons and setup a page— —where you can add your name to a petition that their staff will hand-deliver to negotiators at the UN climate summit. In short, we need to let world leaders know that their inaction is wrecking the world, and the time is long past for mere talk -- we need action, and we need it now.  Please sign and pass the page on.


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Poster of the Week



The World Famous Linda Katehi Anti-Occupy Spray Patent Pending
Roque Montez
Taller Arte Del Nuevo Amanecer (TANA)
Silkscreen, 2012
Davis, California

UC Davis police Lieutenant John Pike, who pepper-sprayed students during a peaceful sit-in at an "Occupy UCD" demonstration in Davis, Calif. on Nov. 18, 2011, was awarded $38,000 to compensate him for psychiatric damage he claimed to have suffered from the 2011 incident.   The students he pepper sprayed received less--$30,000 each.
Students were seated arm and arm and refused to follow police commands to move when Pike and another officer doused them with pepper spray at close range.

Pike was immediately put on paid administrative leave following the incident, which drew criticism from all over the country and had many calling for Chancellor Linda Katehi to be fired.

Pike had been collecting a six-figure salary until his separation from the department in July 2012. He filed a worker’s comp claim on grounds that he was victimized by the way he was treated after the fact.

A scathing 190-page report on the incident found that university officials and UC Davis police used poor judgment and excessive force in the confrontation. And the incident was widely mocked in satirical messages posted on the Internet in which still photos of Pike wielding his pepper spray were inserted into famed works or art or pop culture images.
The university last fall agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of the 21 students who got sprayed and later reported suffering panic attacks, trauma and academic problems as a result.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Poster of the Week

Support the U.F.W.A. International Boycott
Ricardo Favela
Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF)
Silkscreen, 1976
Sacramento, CA

José Montoya, poet, muralist, printmaker, musician and teacher died last week at 81. He taught at California State University, Sacramento for 27 years and served as Poet Laureate of Sacramento from 2002 to 2004.  In 1969, José and other activists, artists, poets and students (including Esteban Villa, Juanishi Orosco, Ricardo Favela, Armando R. Cid, Eva Garcia, Lorraine García-Nakata, Juan Cervantes, and Joe Serna, Jr.) co-founded the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF).  Initially named Rebel Chicano Art Front, they changed their name in response to confusion caused by having the same initials as the Royal Canadian Air Force.  The RCAF was noted for their outrageous humor, and built upon the Royal Canadian Air Force connection by dressing as WWII pilots—as in the above poster of the week—and claiming to fly adobe airplanes.   
RCAF was one of the earliest and most influential of the Chicano art collectives.  Based in Sacramento, the RCAF advocated for Chicano civil rights and the United Farm Workers.  They often brought silkscreen equipment right into the fields, producing posters on site.
CSPG’s Poster of the Week was done by RCAF co-founder Ricardo Favela.  Four members of the RCAF, dressed in WWII bomber jackets, are doing creative boycotting in front of a Safeway Market, targeted by the United Farm Workers for selling non union grapes and lettuce.  After the photo was taken they accidentally entered a parade—where they won 2nd prize for the best float!
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics is honored to have more than 60 RCAF silkscreens in the archive, and will continue to exhibit these powerful graphics to future generations.  José Montoya’s work will continue to inspire.

José Montoya


To see an interview with José Montoya:

Additional Sources:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Poster of the Week - The Other September 11th

Long Live Free Chile!
Third World Students Coalition
Offset, mid 1970s
Eugene, Oregon

On September 11, 1973 the democratically elected government of Chile, led by President Salvador Allende, was overthrown by a CIA- engineered coup.  Today is the 40th anniversary of that brutal coup in which thousands were tortured, murdered and disappeared under the U.S. backed dictatorship of Augosto Pinochet.  The dictatorship lasted 17 years. 

This poster shows President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger behind Chilean dictator Augosto Pinochet, while Vice-President Gerald Ford stands off to the side.  Kissinger was a key architect behind the Chilean coup. 

Additional Sources:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Poster of the Week

Tell your Senators and Members of Congress Not to Attack Syria. Sign the petition:
Leon Kuhn
Offset, 2008
London, United Kingdom

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Poster of the Week

A Ride Till The End (ARTTE)
Digital Print, 2011


United States Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (born 1987), held since May 2010, was sentenced today to 35 years for leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks an anti-secrecy website. These documents include a video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter crew killing unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists in Iraq. The pilots then kill an Iraqi Good Samaritan, who, with his children, had stopped to help the wounded. The American pilots seem cheerful and trigger-happy. They joke about the sounds a tank makes rolling over a corpse. For releasing this and other war crimes committed by the U.S., Manning was tortured and held in solitary confinement for the first 10 months of his arrest until public pressure helped end this illegal phase of his imprisonment. Many consider him to be a hero following in the footsteps of Daniel Ellsberg who released the Pentagon Papers exposing U.S. government lies about the Viet Nam War.

This poster was originally created for Bradley Manning Solidarity Weekend on April 9-10, 2011, organized by A Ride Till The End (ARTTE). Events were held in 13 cities across the country, including New Orleans.  The weekend was “Bradley Manning: Rebel With a Cause Bicycle Tour,” a 444-mile ride which began in March 21, 2011 in and ended in Nashville, Tennesee on April 8th, to raise awareness and funds for Bradley Manning's defense. The graphic was available for download on the organizations website. ARTTE is a speaking bureau/performance art collective of veterans and artists riding bicycles around the U.S. raising awareness about the situation in Afghanistan and related issues until the Afghanistan occupation ends. 

Additional sources has covered Bradley Manning extensively.

Featuring: Daniel Ellsberg, Oliver Stone, Alice Walker, Phil Donahue, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Russell Brand, Tom Morello, Wallace Shawn, Moby, Michael Ratner, Lt. Dan Choi, Matt Taibbi & Many Others

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Poster of the Week

“An open society cannot survive a secret government.” Bill Moyers

White House Secret Society

Sheila Pinkel
Digital Inkjet, 2008
Los Angeles, CA

In light of recent disclosures by Edward Snowdon and other whistleblowers, Bill Moyers' quote has become even more relevant.

Artist’s statement:

I made this digital ink jet poster in 2008 because I was increasingly concerned that the Patriot Act has resulted in the erosion of civil liberties in the United States, especially the loss of legal representation for people accused of being terrorists or undocumented people. In 2007, I had made the poster "Patriot Axe" about the loss constitutional rights because of the Patriot Act. I read Bill Moyers book "The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis" because I wanted to better understand his perspective on this subject. Although this book was published in 1988, his quote, which I found in it, gave voice to the concerns of myself and many people on the left who were watching civil liberties erode since the passage of the Patriot Act. And with that erosion came my growing sense that the government was not transparent and that a multiplicity of non-visible agendas were directing domestic and foreign policy.
Sheila Pinkel, 2013

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Poster of the Week

Still Waiting for Justice
Hunter Langston
digital print, 2012

Text:  Still Waiting for Justice  Trayvon Martin  born February 5, 1995 Murdered February 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin was an unarmed 17-year-old African American male who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida.   Zimmerman, a 28-year-old biracial Hispanic American, was a community watch volunteer for the gated community where the shooting took place. Zimmerman was taken into custody, but released when the police agreed with Zimmerman’s claim that the shooting was in self-defense.  Six weeks later, amidst heightened media attention, Zimmerman was charged with murder by a new prosecutor.  The circumstances of Martin's death, the delay in charging Zimmerman, and questions about Florida's Stand Your Ground law received national and international attention.  After Zimmerman was found not guilty on July 13, 2013, thousands protested the verdict across the United States, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Tampa and Washington, D.C.   The Justice Department is considering filing Federal civil rights charges against Zimmerman.

When this poster was first produced following Trayvon’s murder, the title referred to the fact that George Zimmerman had not been arrested for the crime.  Sadly, the poster now reflects on the not-guilty verdict. Trayvon Martin and all of us are still waiting for justice.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Poster of the Week

Wir Bringen die Pole zum Schmelzen
Klaus Staeck; Greenpeace
Offset, 1988
Germany: Heidelberg

We Bring the Poles to the Melting Point—Most Catastrophically Everybody only talks about the climate—we break it and make a good profit on it: by the production of 140000 tons of CFC’s [Chlorofluorocarbons] per year. Kali and Hoechst, the Climate killers.

The first Earth Day, April 22, 1970 was marked by environmental teach-ins held throughout the U.S. Approximately 20 million Americans participated and this date marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Now, more than 40 years later, the situation is worse and the climate is changing rapidly and very noticeably. The polar ice caps are melting faster than scientists had predicted, extreme weather is becoming the norm, and expanding swaths of oceans and lakes are becoming dead zones where no marine life can survive due to depleted oxygen levels caused by pesticide runoff. In 2004, 146 dead zones in the world's oceans were reported. A 2008 study counted 405 dead zones worldwide. Meanwhile, new ways of polluting our air, soil and water are increasingly profitable therefore actively supported by industry and government alike: from deep sea oil drilling, to fracking, to transporting tar sands across some of the most fertile and fragile agricultural land in the country. When will we ever learn?

CSPG’s Poster of the Week was designed by Klaus Staeck, arguably the most prolific political poster designer in Europe, for Greenpeace, one of the oldest environmental organizations with offices in more than 40 countries.

CFC’s, sold under the trade name of Freons, were extensively used in refrigerators and air conditioners, in the production of plastics, as solvents for electronics, and as a propellant in spray cans. When CFC’s were shown to destroy the Ozone layer, causing a rise in skin cancer, severe sunburns and eye problems, their use as aerosol propellants was discontinued. However, due to improper disposal, they continued to leak into the atmosphere, destroying more of the Ozone layer. In the 1980s, Greenpeace launched a campaign against the largest producers of CFC’s in Europe: the chemical companies Kali-Chemie and Hoechst. Hoechst also translates as “Highest”, so the poster uses the double meaning of the name to both highlight the company, and its role in contributing to global warming. In the 1990s, many Hoechst and Kali-Chemie plants throughout the world ceased production of CFC’s.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Poster of the Week

Gone with the Wind
Bob Light; John Houston
Offset, 1980s
Hampton,  Connecticut

Margaret Thatcher died this week.  She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and the only woman to have held the office. A Soviet journalist called her the "Iron Lady", a nickname that became associated with her uncompromising politics.  Thatcher’s political philosophy and economic policies emphasized deregulation (particularly of the financial sector), privatization of state owned companies, and union busting.  Sound familiar? 

When two-thirds of the country's miners went on strike in 1984, she called them, “the enemy within…”   In March 1985, after a year out on strike, the union leadership conceded without a deal. The cost to the economy was estimated to be at least £1.5 billion.  Of 174 state-owned mines, most of which were profitable, 97 were closed by 1992, and those that remained were privatized by 1994. This resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs and devastated entire communities.  And this is just the result of her attack on one sector of the working class.  Thatcher also presided over the Falklands War with Argentina and provided critical support to the Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.

As government officials and the corporate press eulogize her strengths and accomplishments, CSPG’s Poster of the Week focuses on her close relationship with President Ronald Reagan.  George Schultz , Reagan’s Secretary of State, called Reagan and Thatcher “ideological soulmates.”  No more need be said.

Poster Text:
The Film To End All Films
The most EXPLOSIVE  love story ever
Milton Friedman  in association with Pentagon Productions presents  "Gone With  The Wind"  Screenplay By  Henry Kissinger  Directed By Cap Weinberger  Music by Jerry Falwell 
Winner of Ten Academy  Awards 
She promised to follow him to the end of the earth.  He promised to organise it!
 "The atomic bomb is a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise God."
- Phyllis Schlafly, Boston Globe, 7/15/80

G All Ages Eliminated  From an Idea Conceived By Phyllis Schlaughly [sic]
An IMF Picture  Now showing world-wide 
Bob Light/ John Houston for Socialist Worker  Published in the U.S. with permission by Donnelly/Colt, Box 1988, Hampton, CT 06247. [union bug] Local One New York  $4 per copy by mail Bulk rates available

Poster History:
Originally designed in 1982 for the Socialist Workers Party (London), it was then remade in the U.S and Germany.  This poster parodies the Reagan-Thatcher alliance as a remake of Gone with the Wind, with Reagan as Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) sweeping British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as Scarlet O'Hara (Vivienne Leigh) off her feet.

The poster was adopted by its opponents and decorated many a young conservative's apartment: It conveyed, more successfully than its designers had intended, a certain romantic quality in the "special relationship" between Reagan and Thatcher.

Others in the "cast" :
Jerry Falwell - fundamentalist right-wing Baptist minister who founded the Moral Majority in 1979.
Milton Friedman - a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board.
Henry Kissinger - Secretary of State under Presidents Nixon and Ford.  Was Reagan's Chairman of the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America (1983-84).
Phyllis Schlafly - a right wing antifeminist activist, who really did say, "The atomic bomb is a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise God."  [Boston Globe, 7/15/80]
Cap (Caspar) Weinberger - Secretary of Defense under Reagan Administration, 1981 – 1987.



Many British Pop stars wrote songs highly critical of Thatcher.  In 1988, Stephen Patrick Morrisey wrote a song titled 'Margaret on the Guillotine,' even featuring a sound effect of a blade cutting a neck.  In his 1989 song "Tramp The Dirt Down,” Elvis Costello prayed he'd live long enough to stamp on her grave. "I'd savor/ when they finally put you in the ground/I'll stand on your put you in the grave/and tramp the dirt down,” he spat.  Since her death, Costello’s song has risen to #79 on iTunes. But Thatcher’s death is propelling an even older song to the top of iTunes:"Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” from The Wizard of Oz (1939).  A Facebook page established in 2007, encouraged people to download the “Witch” song when Thatcher died, to make it number one.  The BBC plays the top ten songs…the question is, will they play this one? The controversy is escalating amid charges of censorship vs free speech. Stay tuned.


Sources for the musical protests:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Poster of the Week

Make Civil Rights Equal for All People
Artist Unknown
Silkscreen, 2010
Los Angeles, California

CSPG’s Poster of the Week refers to two historic cases about Marriage Equality being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this week.  The two cases (United States v. Windsor;  Perry v. Schwarzenegger) challenge the constitutionality of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California’s Proposition 8.  Both DOMA, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and Proposition 8, passed in 2008, stipulate that marriage is only between a man and a woman, denying same sex couples the same rights and benefits of their heterosexual counterparts.

Additional Sources: