Posts Tagged ‘advocacy’

Justice, Equality, Democracy, Opportunity, Community

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4945" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Stronger Together"][/caption] Poster Show Friday the 28th at the New BLK. See you there! From the Nebraska Appleseed blog: Build A Stronger Nebraska Together

Build A Stronger Nebraska :: Lincoln & Omaha Exhibitions

Monday, September 26th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4910" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="LINCOLN: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 7TH"][/caption] October 7 · 6:00pm - 10:00pm The Ink Spot at Parrish Studios 1410 O Street Lincoln, NE [caption id="attachment_4911" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="OMAHA: FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28TH"][/caption] October 28 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm The New BLK 1213 Jones Street Omaha, NE A poster show benefiting Nebraska Appleseed featuring art from: Paul Berkbigler Doe Eyed Ella Durham + Sam Rapien Justin Kemerling Peter Morris Oxide Design Co. Cathy Solarana Jake Welchert Historically, the poster has been a powerful means of communicating ideals and advocating for change. Nebraska Appleseed called upon leaders in the graphic design community to envision how we can build a stronger Nebraska through greater equality, opportunity and justice for all. We partnered with Justin Kemerling of The Match Factory and Lincoln screen printer Jason Davis of Screen Ink to produce an art exhibition with a collection of posters to inspire all people of our great state to work together to create a more inclusive, more vibrant community. These powerful posters - eleven designs, hand-signed and numbered, twenty-five prints each on 18"x24" silkscreen prints - give voice to Appleseed's core values of Community, Democracy, Equality, Justice and Opportunity.

TakePart: Be A Participant Every, Single, Day.

Monday, September 5th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4900" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="About TakePart"][/caption] TakePart is the digital division of Participant Media. You can see exactly what they do above. They're amazing people doing amazing work and are really a joy to work with. View Larger Version

Green Patriot Film

Monday, July 18th, 2011
GREEN PATRIOT POSTERS (Project Green/NOMAD Films) is being made into a documentary short film. And you can help Kickstart it!

Green Patriot Posters

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_4074" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Green Patriot Posters the book edited by Dmitri Siegel & Edward Morris "][/caption] IMAGES FOR A NEW ACTIVISM Green Patriot Posters the book was released at the end of 2010, a year tied for the warmest on record with 1998 and 2005. The book brings together the strongest contemporary graphic design currently promoting sustainability and the fight against climate change at a time when one of America's political parties is looking to rewrite the Clean Air Act so that it can't be used to fight that very same climate change. The book showcases 50 posters selected from the project Website in detachable, ready to hang format. It's edited by Edward Morris and Dmitri Siegel and includes text by Michael Bierut, Thomas L. Friedman, Steven Heller, Edward Morris, Dmitri Siegel and Morgan Clendaniel. In addition to the site and the book, Cleveland saw bus adverts by Michael Beirut, Dorchester was home to a public art campaign and San Francisco had bus shelter placement thanks to some successful crowdfunding. [caption id="attachment_4075" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Green Patriot Posters {dot} ORG"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4076" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bierut Bus in Cleveland"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_4077" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Bike Your City Bus Shelter by Jason Hardy in San Francisco"][/caption] Green Patriot Posters Reinvigorate Environmental Message at Wired and the Destroy This Book excerpt can be found at Design Observer. Most People just don't get climate change. Few grasp the need and more important, the opportunity to transform our society. So the people who do get it need to be louder, more insistent and more effective at getting the message across. Certainly a very true statement. For our part, Jason and myself were both included in the book alongside some of the finest poster designers working today: Shepard Fairey, Joe Scorsone and Alice Drueding, Felix Sockwell and Jame Victore. Power to the Poster in general was well represented. [caption id="attachment_4082" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Inside spread"][/caption] Jason Hardy | Let's Ride
  • A bicycle is a beautifully simple machine. Two wheels, a frame, and a crank — that's all you need. So I wanted to make a simple poster celebrating one of those key components — the wheel. The call to action is simple: Let's Ride. I chose a light green for the background to touch on the environmental benefits of cycling and also because, as we all know, green means go. Cutting carbon can be fun, too — get a crew and let's ride!
[caption id="attachment_4083" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Let's Ride by Jason Hardy"][/caption] Justin Kemerling | (Re)Make America
  • I think about the idea of America a lot. The history of things. How we got here and where we want to go. It's been a long process in working towards becoming the land of opportunity with freedom and justice for all, and the whole bit. And we have such a long way to go. It’s brick by brick. It’s DIY. So pick up your talents and get to it. Until your hands hurt. This image of the “America in bricks” found it’s way into my design work, really speaking to the idea that many parts make a whole. Optimistic. Hopeful. Good reason to get your hands calloused.
[caption id="attachment_4084" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="(Re)Make America by Justin Kemerling"][/caption] The book itself is a perfect combination of beautiful design and sustainable production. From the back cover:
  • Every effort was made to produce this book in the most sustainable way possible. The trim size and page count were chosen to minimize waste; the book was printed using 100% wind power on paper made from 100% post-consumer waste fiber; and it was printed in the U.S.A. to reduce fuel consumption in shipping. Yes, this cost more. But suck it up. It's worth it.
Published by Metropolis Books. 9.5 x 12.5 in. / 128 pgs / 50 tear-out posters and available for purchase at Artbook for $30. [caption id="attachment_4091" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="WWII era posters: project inspiration."][/caption] This project, and many others like it, are so very important. Especially at a very contentious time, when taking on Climate Change just isn't an issue many Americans are interested in addressing. It's all Economy all of the time. And half of our elected officials don't even think Climate Change is a) caused by our human use of fossil fuels, or worse yet b) happening at all. This project is directly inspired from World War II era posters that called for collective action, for the nation to come together to fight a common enemy. But if it was today's America that had to fight that war, I'm not so sure we'd do very well, especially with the coming together part. [caption id="attachment_4094" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="WWII era posters: more inspiration. "][/caption] These messages coming from our leadership today; to be wise, careful, to use leftovers and to grow your own food would not stand. The cries of communism and socialism and conspiratorial leftist plots would abound. They pretty much do whenever any government initiative is undertaken. Remember the backlash to Michelle Obama's wonderful organic garden; it just needs to get off our back and leave us to our God-given right to be fat, lazy and drive up health care costs faster than you can say high-fructose corn syrup. But as communication design efforts on many fronts take on what really matters; raising money for doctors in Haiti, advocating an end to the death penalty, calling out the imperative of reversing the push into poverty by so many in this great recession, things do change. Money gets raised, public opinion becomes more compassionate, communities come together. These projects shine a light in a compelling way on the issues we need to be thinking about very seriously. It's design as a way to shout how things need to be and what we want our future to look like. And, of course, they inspire the creation of a sustainable movement for a green tomorrow which is a very American, very patriotic thing to do. You can call sustainability a movement. There are signs that things are getting better. We might even be approaching sustainability as "the way things must be because that's the way it is," with complete infiltration into every aspect of everything -- energy, food, buildings, transportation, and on and on. It's as if a grand realization is upon us. Deep down we know we can't carry on like this. With such levels of pollution, inequality and injustice, we'll all collectively have the "aha" moment, get a grip and use our vast quantities of creativity to remake America and our world community into a bright place for everyone to call home. With hot years and heated debates about the action we need to take, we need more projects like Green Patriot Posters -- more vision from creative individuals to inspire us along the way to that sustainable future. Otherwise, it could be the rising tides that sink all ships. For now, you can buy this book, destroy this book and pick a side because the tone of the debate and the levels of action needed are only going to get more intense. And we do indeed need to get louder, more insistent and more effective at getting the message across. -- Justin Kemerling, Designer. PRESS: The Guardian UK, January 25, 2011 Wired, November 15, 2010: PBS News Hour, Art Beat, January 6, 2011: Metropolis Mag, October 20, 2010: Design Observer, November 22, 2010: GOOD, December 15, 2010 Le Monde, October 30, 2010

Haiti’s Story Told with Posters

Friday, February 4th, 2011
HOW Magazine's Blog features The Haiti Poster Project, now with over 510 artists:
  • Over a year ago, in the wake of a tragedy, designers and artists were called to action by The Haiti Poster Project. Limited edition posters are donated and signed by their creators, and funds from their sales benefit Doctors without Borders for Haiti’s relief efforts.

Something is definitely happening in our culture. We think it’s a new consumer revolution.

Thursday, January 6th, 2011
[caption id="attachment_3884" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Alex Bogusky's FearLess Revolution"][/caption] The FearLess Revolution.
  • Founded in 2010 by Alex Bogusky and Rob Schuham, The FearLess Cottage has become an informal clubhouse for insurgents in a new consumer revolution. On most days you can find a confederacy of passionate teachers, entrepreneurs, chefs, marketers, ecologists, moms, farmers, engineers and tinkerers. Glued together with an understanding that we can do better. Better for our kids. Better for the planet. Better for each other.
  • We see ourselves as advocates in this new consumer revolution. One founded on the principles that we have the power and the tools to reshape the world again.
  • We humbly put our shoulders behind the best ideas and look forward to some laughs along the way. Just because the fate of our children lies in the balance, doesn't mean we can't have a good time.
We can do better indeed.

Death Is Not Justice | The Book

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Death is not justice - Catalogue from poster for tomorrow on Vimeo.

Visit Poster for Tomorrow.

When It’s Time to Battle

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010
DESIGN AS ACTIVISM [caption id="attachment_1179" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="ATTENTION!"][/caption] The Battle for Whiteclay is a documentary film project created to call attention to a tragic situation. The film, appropriately described by Indian activist Frank Lamere, "chronicles a painful odyssey that should give pause to the caring, the oblivious, and those who don't give a damn." It doesn't take long to drive through Whiteclay. In a blink of an eye, you pass four liquor stores in a town with a population of 14. Then it's down a two-mile stretch of road to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Hot sun and blue sky overhead. Slow, stale misery on the ground. You get a sense for the centuries of exploitation and abuse. And knowing what's at work in the community, there really is no way to go there and not be moved to act in some way. On Saturday, June 11, 2005, at Noon there was a march from the Reservation in South Dakota to Whiteclay, Nebraska to demand that illegal sales of alcohol to Indians be stopped. Some 11,000 cans of beer are consumed every day. There's crippling poverty. An epidemic of alcohol abuse. On the reservation the unemployment rate is 75% and average life expectancy for men is 48 and 52 for women. It's been a decade long struggle for justice on the streets of Whiteclay to the halls of Nebraska's State Capitol. The point of the march was to increase awareness of the situation and, hopefully, begin ending such a bold illegality. [caption id="attachment_1174" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="The People March"][/caption] Known as "skid row on the prairie", Whiteclay continues to be a source of much sadness. The liquor establishments sell their beer.The law is left with too few resources to be enforced. And the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are forgotten. It's contemporary conflict pitting American Indian rights against state and local governments in the United States. [caption id="attachment_1169" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="DVD Packaging"][/caption] Activist and filmmaker Mark Vasina completed the documentary in 2008 and began screening it around the state of Nebraska. It's been a very effective tool helping tell this complicated, often misunderstood issue. It's really a whirlwind of a situation. There's protests and marches both in Whiteclay and in the state capital of Lincoln. There's hearings and testimony. News reports, editorials and opinions. At times, the basic facts can get overlooked. Realizing that four stores in the tiny village sell about four million cans of beer a year to a clientele who has no legal place to drink the beer tells you just about all you need to know. [caption id="attachment_1186" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Images from the struggle | A cycle of despair"][/caption] I became involved with the project around the time I saw the James Victore video made by Hillman Curtis. The social-political "stuff" was more and more the type of work I was drawn to. It sucked me in like no other visual work could. It was persuasion and, as I saw it, extremely important content. It was message with meaning. It was design that gave a damn. It was graphic design behaving as it should, performing the function of the "big fucking club with spikes". You can draw a line from Victore's Columbus Day poster aimed at correcting the legacy of a history of genocide directly to the aesthetic driving the work here. Working with community organizers and political activists, the visuals were meant to be harsh with ruthless urgency, because that's what the situation called for. Steeped in local politics, working for justice in a conservative red state, with a long history of nothing happening. The mediums were activist in nature, but the message was one of practicality. I remember one exchange very well. One of the main organizers said to me, "hell, we can't have a sign that reads 'you've taken our land now you're taking our lives.' It's just not practical. And it turns most people off right away. But 'bring law enforcement to Whiteclay,' someone sees that flipping through the newspaper on a Sunday morning, and they're more likely to say, 'well why the hell not.'" At least that's how we saw things happening. [caption id="attachment_1191" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Stop Alcohol Sales in Whiteclay"][/caption] For myself, the project has always been about taking on a wrong and trying to get people to help make it right. It's not an overnight endeavor. It's slow, arduous politics. The grit of the campaign takes the gravel of that two-mile stretch of road and gives it some kind of context. But once that context is established, nothing will change without a sustained effort. It is poison that's being sold up there, and it's crippling an entire population in the name of "it's just business." We tend to put emphasis on the economic over the social in America, and you can see that play out in Whiteclay. [caption id="attachment_1192" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="A simple Wordpress blog keeping people up-to-date on the situation"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1193" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="On the road: the film has been shown in Denver, New York, Iowa, South Dakota and across Nebraska"][/caption] When there is an injustice, how the facts are communicated matter. How people perceive the situation is crucial. The messages we confront every day through various forms of media tell us where to shop and what to buy, but also what we choose to care about at every level; personal, professional, institutional and governmental. Our world view is shaped and reinforced by the messages we encounter day in and day out. The swirling mass of information and entertainment, opinion and fact, that exists in our culture didn't just happen. It was all designed to one degree or another. Design as activism sits right in the middle of everything else that's made to influence people, trying to motivate the caring, turn on the oblivious and battle those who just don't give a damn. There are many reasons the situation is as bad as it is in Whiteclay. But one remains clear: an injustice is allowed to go on because not enough people are paying attention. And not enough people have been moved to act, yet. -- Justin Kemerling, Designer.

The Grassroots vs. The Drones (Happy 4th)

Friday, July 2nd, 2010
[caption id="attachment_2144" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Get your yard sign."][/caption] A COMMUNITY COLLABORATION Here's one for you: a designer, a programmer, a community organizer, a communications task force and a group of committed peace and justice types ranging from well-seasoned academics to bright-eyed progressives get together to advocate for a better world. It's a collaboration of the first order with high-minded goals concerning matters of crucial importance. The focus is how to make a peace and justice organization more effective at making peace and justice happen. In the back of a local coffee shop, huddled over the local paper with some veggie sandwiches and fair trade coffee, the plotting and scheming goes strong once a week for many months. Usually in good spirits, with lively discussion and debates about how a little non-profit organization moves forward, what has come out of the effort has been something quite remarkable. We certainly accomplished a streamlining our communications efforts, developing a new website, creating several media campaigns to stoke the political fires and training key staff members on technology that can be used to keep things current. But there's also been a rejuvenation of the collective spirit. I saw what I thought was glowing from several people at one of the last meetings. It could be because we've finally seen the sun out here in the Midwest, but I like to think it's been this whole "working together" thing that's the root cause of the newly intense hues. [caption id="attachment_1949" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="A bumper sticker for every bumper in Nebraska"][/caption] Hang out in Lincoln long enough, especially downtown, and you'll come across several deep blue bumper stickers reading "Nebraskans for Peace." It's probably one of the most successful bumper sticker campaigns in American history. And a nice visual mark of identity in the community. (If anybody needs one, I'm sure I can get a couple dozen by the end of the day to whomever's asking.) In the back of that local coffee shop, a rag tag bunch of liberal peaceniks responsible for those stickers got together to grow this organization. And in between deep conversations about the sad state of affairs for America's foreign policy, I'd say success has been had. We set out many months ago to make Nebraskans for Peace the best damn peace and justice group it could be, building on the old school tactics of political organizing while embracing some 21st century digital activism. And today, we are moving ahead as planned. At the beginning of the process, a communications plan was put together. Nebraskans for Peace is the oldest group of this nature in the country, so we needed to re-establish core principles and look at the changing landscape, both in political and technological terms. There are definitely things the organization does well, and of course, other things not-so-much. But coming back to the focus on community building, education and political action, after 40 years of existence, 2010 certainly was an appropriate time to look at making this little non-profit better at being a voice for change out here on the great plains. [caption id="attachment_1980" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Communications Overview for 2010"][/caption] To make Nebraskans for Peace better at what it does, we looked at four areas: online, in hand, via telephone, and face to face. A new website that can be easily updated by anyone working for the organization. A continued push for thoughtful articles and stories in the bi-monthly publication called the Nebraska Report. A renewed effort at phone conversation and dialogue with the membership and an increased presence in the community with rallies, marches and protests as well as more yard signs and bumper stickers. (Have a sticker already, how about one for your neighbor's car?) All four areas are currently being carried out feverishly. Give it a year or two, with all of our streamlined advocacy, and war will most likely cease to be acceptable and will thus have to end as more and more people rush over to our side. The two wars America is mired in are certainly one of the issues that brings people to the group. But as a peace and justice organization, the tent is meant to be big, and includes issues dealing with the environment, civil rights and economic justice and bullying in our schools. Broad thinking on global issues certainly informs the Priorities, but how they apply locally is where the most impact can be had. If Nebraskans for Peace isn't concerned about the military base just down the road that's conducting warrantless wiretaps on our citizens or orchestrating drone strikes on Afghans, then who else will be? [caption id="attachment_2146" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Stop the Drones"][/caption] It's the grassroots versus the drones. Those drone planes that drop bombs indiscriminately on villages. The tea party droners who go on and on about government spending but have yet to make a peep about our bloated war budgets. And those war hawk droners who love to hold up all the marvels of our technological prowess as if that's the high point of human accomplishment -- dropping a bomb in Yemen from a control panel in Nebraska. [caption id="attachment_2145" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="The new, shiny"][/caption] The website is the online arm of the group. Carrying articles of in-depth analysis as well as graphic campaigns designed to get to the heart of bigger issues. The military base is in our community, but those drones belong to everybody. Drones that carry quite an expensive price tag. [caption id="attachment_1953" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="Goin' Broke Paying for War"][/caption] The "Goin' Broke Paying for War" campaign has become a focus in these times of seemingly unending war. It's especially appropriate as the worry about deficits grows and the cries against "big government" get louder. The fact is this: if you want to cut down on our debt you cannot do it without cutting our war budget. We spend an absurd amount on blowing things up. Way more than we spend on kids, the elderly, our roads or sick people combined. It's really kind of sad, building up all that weaponry while the livingry is left to fight over table scraps. It's as if we're out for a crazy night at the carnival thinking our time in the bounce house never stops. We just keep jumping up and down, laughing and giggling as our bodies flail about. Perpetual motion, getting "massive air". On and on, forever and ever. That is, until China won't lend us money any more and the whole things deflates. Out there in a dessert. And there we are, with a case of motion sickness and no sense of direction. [caption id="attachment_2143" align="alignnone" width="540" caption="As many as you need."][/caption] It's Fourth of July time in 2010 and the battle of ideas in America continues to go on. One side is saying we spend too much, therefore strip down government. Cut medicare, privatize social security and really take on the deficit. The other side simply says, stop spending all our money on war. That's the side I'm on. The side that says enough of these stupid, pointless wars, 700+ military bases all over the world and this thirst for empire that's done so all other countries will do what we say. C'mon, it's just not a 21st century way to behave. Goin' Broke indeed. Because of all the war we've got goin' on. It seems too easy anymore, talking to my conservative friends who think we can't afford Universal Health Care. My response: shift priorities and we got it no problem. So my question now is, can there be common ground? Is the Tea Party and the Coffee Party set for a union of sorts? Perhaps Obama's push for bipartisanship is rubbing off on me. Really though, the problems we face are large. Structural problems that exist at the core of our country, whether in education, economy, environment, foreign policy or our general sense of unhelpful exceptionalism. They require a large effort in response. The "fix" cannot just exist along the margins. It must be a full-on assault of all our best intentions from everywhere by everyone. With so much uproar brewing over our debt, it just may be the thing to bring together far left and far right in a very kumbaya moment. In the back of that little coffee shop it can all certainly seem insignificant. The anti-war movement in general can seem insignificant. The noise it's made over the last decade hasn't really accomplished much. Though we didn't have a major cable news network to back us. But still. One can easily become disheartened. Feelings of futility sink in. It seems like nothing is happening. And nothing is going to change. But that's really not true. It's just self-inflicted drama grabbing hold. Take an honest assessment, and things are getting better. At least for this little community of collaborators. The general agitators that enjoy each other's company enough to make the little incremental movements that assure the rest of the population that yep, we peaceniks are out here. Still making noise. As long as there's war to be had, they'll be peace to throw at it. So from the designer, the programmer, the community organizer, the communications task force and the group of committed peace and justice types, here's to a better world. -- Justin Kemerling, Designer.