the graphic imperative exhibition at western michigan university the graphic imperative exhibition at western michigan university
jan 13, 2010

the graphic imperative exhibition at western michigan university

left: ‘peace’ by steff geissbuhler, 1985 right: ‘and our world is still alive’ by tahamtan aminian, 2002

thursday 14th january sees the opening of ‘the graphic imperative‘ exhibition at the school of art at western michigan university. the show features 100 international posters for peace, social justice and the environment designed between 1965-2005.

‘every movement for social change in the past hundred years has begun with the arts. theatre, poetry, music and posters have been central, but political and social posters in particular, are living reminders of struggles for peace and justice. whether they communicate, exhort, persuade, instruct, celebrate, or warn, graphic posters still jar us to action through bold messages and striking iconography.’

‘consumption’ by john scorsone and alice drueding, 2001

‘the graphic imperative is an exhibition of international sociopolitical posters that stir our emotions yet cause us to reflect. the exhibition of examples of agitprop provides a window to an age of change, utilizing the power of visual metaphor and at times, savage irony and humor. themes from the past four decades include dissent, liberation, racism, sexism, human rights, civil rights, environmental concerns, aids, war, literacy and tolerance.’

left: ‘racial harassment is no joke’ by andrzej krakowski, 1997 right: ‘create a blue sky for our children’ by parisa tashakori, 2002

‘these posters have transmitted the ideals, hopes and dreams of millions who have dared to raise their voices in protest or concern. they have helped empower and propel important movements for social change. some have become icons that have changed the way we view our institutions, our world and ourselves. because graphic designers need to express their individual views about a cause or issue, their posters are a form of personal expression in a field that often prefers the bland.’

‘hunger’ by lex drewinski, 1999

‘by selecting 100 posters, we have endeavored to show the social, political and aesthetic concerns of many cultures in a single exhibition. in delineating themes and contrasting political realities, we hope to focus the issues of our turbulent times as cuban poster designer raul martinez stated: ‘putting a graphic face on a movement.’

authors & curators elizabeth resnick, chaz maviyane-davies, frank baseman

more details

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    design news