The Commissar Vanishes

“Photographs can lie. They certainly do in the Soviet Union from 1929 to 1953, the years of Joseph Stalin’s dictatorial rule. Stalin’s agents routinely arrest and kill as ‘enemies of the people’ anyone who disagrees with his politics. Communist Party workers then try to remove any trace of these people from the photographic archives, and so from the media. The Commissar Vanishes exhibition explores this censored history.”

Found via American Samizdat.

>  3 June 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

The Doomsday Clock

“For nearly 55 years, the Bulletin [of the Atomic Scientists] clock (a.k.a. the ‘Doomsday Clock’) has been the world’s most recognizable symbol of nuclear danger. The first representation of the clock was produced in 1947, when artist Martyl Langsdorf, the wife of a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, was asked by magazine co-founder Hyman Goldsmith to design a cover for the June issue.... This simple design captured readers’ imaginations, evoking both the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of military attack—the countdown to zero hour.... The idea of moving the minute hand came later, in 1949, as a way to dramatize the magazine’s response to world events.”

See the current time.

>  2 June 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Chinese Propaganda Posters

Workers at the factory

Stegan Landsberger collects Chinese propaganda posters. From the heroic to the bizarre, his collection is extensive.

Found via Metafilter.

>  1 June 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

Settlements in the West Bank - The Authoritative Map

“This high-detail, colour-coded map with case studies shows the fragmentation of West Bank territory and the Jewish settlements in painstaking detail. For the first time, it reveals the potential settlement expansion provided for in masterplans. This downloadable map is the most contemporary and detailed description of the Israeli settlement project in the West Bank.”

Map of settlements in the West Bank

The article has been removed from openDemocracy site, but is accessible in the Web Archive.

The map is still available from the B’Tselem Web site.

>  26 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Evil Doesn't Live Here: Posters of the Bosnian War

“For most Americans and Europeans, the Bosnian War was played out in the brief, flickering images of television news. But another set of images, more permanent and more profound, played an active role in this war, molding public sentiment and calling attention to the plight of the Bosnian people. For three hellish years, Bosnians plastered the walls of their towns with messages of anger, frustration, desperation, resistance, and hope. These extraordinary images, the focus of this book, are juxtaposed with the hateful, divisive works of propaganda that served the most vicious practitioners of ‘ethnic cleansing.’ Evil Doesn’t Live Here presents this visual battle ot the rest of the world for the first time.”

From Princeton Architectural Press.

>  23 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , ,

Taller de Gráfica Popular

The Taller Editorial de Gráfica Popular was founded on the dissolution of the plastic arts section of the Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios in 1937. The Studio had several locations in Mexico City throughout its history. At first it tried to work as both a publisher and gallery, but was ultimately inclined towards printmaking. The TGP artists grew up during what would become the 20th century chapter of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1940), and almost all the members of the TGP belonged to the Communist Party. Much of their work was addressed to working people and dealt with social issues. The TGP produced posters, billboards, and graphics in a variety of media. Their placed graphic art in a special place within the history of Mexican art. The TGP ended their activities in 1977. From Historia mínima del arte mexicano del siglo XX.

>  23 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Wanted: One Independent Press

Washington DC based Freedom House “is seeking a qualified media specialist to serve as its Project Director of its Printing Press project in Kyrgyzstan. A qualified applicant will have experience in developing and running newspapers in a repressive government environment, and in supervising the operation of a printing press. The Project Director will be responsible for developing and implementing a strategy for successful installation and start-up of an independent printing press in Kyrgyzstan.” The Director will help identify, or else else help develop “a local entity” to operate the press, help select a local board of directors, find a place to house and run the press, facilitate registration and other requirements of Kyrgyzstan law, develop a business and marketing plan, and “work with local media outlets to develop protection strategies to address government harassment.” Russian language a plus. Are you game? Contact the House by May 24.

>  22 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Subway Maps of the World

Coudal Partners’s excellent little collection of urban transit maps has vanished from their Web site. (It lives on in the Internet Archive).

But no matter. Robert Reynolds keeps it real with his even more extensive collection of subway and urban rail maps from around the world.

Updated September 13, 2003.

>  19 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , , ,

London's New Bus Maps

“In London’s bus-stops, some of the finest information graphics I have ever seen are gradually being introduced. Here are some hastily taken photos to record the before and after of London’s bus maps, and the improvements I think are great innovations... The previous map design was ‘one size fits all’ — customised to the locale by the addition of a ‘you are here’ arrow sticker applied to it... The new map design’s first advance is that they are tailored to the specific locale. So they only show the traveller information appropriate to where they are and where they can get to from that point.”

Found on xBlog.

>  16 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in , , ,

Posters in Israel

Yossi Lemel is an Israeli poster designer whose work addresses such issues as the coexistence, the the Iraeli-Palestenian peace process, AIDS, and the Untied Nations.

Found via American Samizdat.

>  16 May 2002 | LINK | Filed in ,

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