Monday, July 14, 2008

Sometimes, It's Better To Run.

I finally got around today to opening my copy of Ark Magazine, the quarterly publication of the National Organizers Alliance, and amid the many excellent articles on innovative electoral work that I'll never get around to actually reading was this half-page image from the Northland Poster Collective. It worries me.

Maybe I'm thinking too literally here, but there's a time to stop organizing and JUST FUCKING RUN! I mean, who are these ethnically diverse people, and what the hell do they think they're doing? Those barrels of toxic waste or whatever look like they're about to come down hard on the half-submerged kid on the shoreline, and the little girl in the fighting stance is being seriously misled by her elders.

And what about the baby? Who confronts a tsunami while holding a baby?

Maybe I'm over-thinking here, but I can't help but visualize the scene thirty seconds later. It looks like rubble, bodies, and rescue crews. There's a metaphor in there somewhere. and I'd prefer to not dwell on it.


Dr. Wes Browning said...

You're over-thinking. The artist is a fan of Katsushika Hokusai and has wanted any excuse to copy him since ever.

Bruce from Accordion Noir said...

That wave looks kinda like a big hand.

This is I suppose a visual technique used to dehumanize opponents, and dramatize your struggle.

Sam Keen's fabulous book Faces of the Enemy shows tons of propaganda posters, with sections of different techniques they use. Turn "them" into animal, machine, monster; show evil deeds they did; show how great you are vs. them; etc. One of the more important books in my young adulthood.

I don't know what kind of literal message historical posters' giant robot spiders and gorilla-shaped soldiers are supposed to convey. Nor do I know what a radical surfer on this big wave would mean.

I've loved the Northland Collective's Posters for years, and of course I still do.