May 2010

Memorial Day



While there may not be so many “unknown soldiersany more, it seems like there are more and more forgotten ones in our midst.

>  31 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in , , , ,

Immigrants Rights are Civil Rights

A friend in DC sent this photo of great poster popping up there. The English language poster is always accompanied by a Spanish language version.

>  30 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in

Choose a Different Ending

“Take the knife” or “don’t take the knife?” One of the more interesting uses of YouTube I’ve seen, this video is the first in a narrative that unfolds as you decide what the main character will do. Each decision affects the outcome of the next 30 second clip, which then prompts you to make another choice. Ultimately, however, it’s the initial decision that determines the conclusion. The videos are shot handy-cam style from the point of view of the main character, which works well here.

The project was produced by AMV BBDO for an anti-violence campaign site run by London’s Metropolitan Police Service.

The video was Osocio’s 2009 Campaign of the Year.

>  26 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in
I Park Art. i-park-art.jpgThe PARK(ing) Day meme lands in Paris and Italy to promote the guerilla re-appropriation of public (parking) space through art and intervention.
>  22 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Invisible City

Why is New York City’s census count always so low? In addition some concern about a history of census abuse targeting minorities, there’s a whole host of ways people bend the rules to live here. Folks may not want to be counted if you live in off-the-books housing, with off-the-books tenants, or do off-the-books work for a living.

And though immigration is a perennially hot-button issue, I wonder whether this latest flare-up has more to do with mid-term elections or suppressing counts (thus money and power) in non-white districts where Democrats tend to lead.

>  22 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Have You Seen This Child?

Rwanda Portraits

Despite Apple’s high-profile use of figures like Martin Luther King, Jr and Ghandi in their Think Different ad campaign, I find Apple’s profiles of pro users fairly conventional.

The profile of Seamus Conlan, however, is a bit more socially engaged:

In Rwanda in 1994 covering a notoriously lethal civil war, photojournalist Seamus Conlan found himself suddenly and unexpectedly reassigned, not by a magazine or newspaper editor, but by his conscience. “I was working in Rwanda as a freelance photographer doing documentation on the lost children, a very big problem and a huge story,” says Conlan. “As I was riding in the back of a truck, photographing the orphans and collecting them at the same time, I decided to take a photo of every child as a means of tracing them.”

Conlan dropped out of photojournalism to complete his self-assigned new mission, photographing 21,000 orphans over a period of a year and a half. But because the children were known by ambiguous names such as Child of Hope or No Man Should Dishonor Me — “There were no John Smiths” — Conlan completed his tracing solution by posting the photographs on billboards sorted by place of origin. “If a child came from Kigali, the parents would go to that billboard, point to the child, give the ID number to the Red Cross and take that child home.”

Conlan’s photographic tracking method is now used by all major relief agencies.

See this 2006 piece on CNN, Camera reunites Rwandan children, families, and Seamus’s own site.

>  14 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in ,

Multiple-Use Names

Alan Smithee” is well known as a pseudonym directors use when they don’t want to attach their own name to a film. But have you met Nicolas Bourbaki, Captain Swing, or Luther Blissett? Multiple-use names are collective pseudonyms shared by different people to conceal their identity and perform as the same (sometimes) fictitious entity. While some are used for political reasons (“I am Spartacus!”), others are rooted more in cultural critique of the author or the individual. Wikipedia lists a few other multiple-use names.
>  9 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in

MayDay Posters

“What does International Workers’ Day mean for the self-employed — for the designer or any other highly flexible working person today? Or someone unemployed? How does someone self-employed go on strike? How do you fight for better working conditions?”

In much of the globe, workers of the world celebrate the first of May with demonstrations, parades, and parties led by community groups, unions, and left wing political organizations.

Once a celebration of Spring and a commemoration of attacks on workers, EuroMayDay is a modern reinvention of the May Day tradition. The first MayDay Parade was held in Milan in 2001 and has since spread across Europe. In 2006, it grew into EuroMayday, a day of protests and actions to fight “precarization” of workers and discrimination against migrants in Europe and beyond. New forms of Precarity are a result of shifts in the modern workplace from permanent employment to temp work, freelance, and other instruments of “flexible labor.” This has resulted in an existence for workers without predictability or security, affecting both material and psychological welfare.

Hundreds of activists and volunteers over the years have come together to organize the MayDay events. Since 2007, the design studio bildwechsel / image-shift has joined them, producing a series of beautiful and provocative MayDay posters. To celebrate MayDay (and the anniversary of this blog) I asked the studio partners about their MayDay poster designs from the last 4 years.

Continue reading "MayDay Posters" »

>  1 May 2010 | LINK | Filed in , ,

On to June.
Back to April.