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A Medley Of Protest Art
A look back at some powerful designs.
After climate, the number two thing I blog about seems to be art. And some of my favorite art is protest art. So in today’s newsletter, I’ll take you through highlights of some of my previous posts (on Davemargulius.com) about protest art.
If you’re looking to learn about contemporary protest art and artists, I suggest you check out the Justseeds.org blog. I’ve been getting an email newsletter from this protest artists’ collaborative for years, and it’s always full of great stuff.
Post #1: Extinction Rebellion
I did a post a few years ago titled: How Design Made Extinction Rebellion A Global Movement. This was after having attended an XR Ireland meeting in Dublin that was quite eye-opening (full of well-dressed professional types vs the wild-eyed rebels I’d maybe expected). Anyway, I got interested in learning more about XR and its history, and this blog post came out of it. See the original post for all the great graphics.
Post #2: Berkeley Protest Posters
This is one of my best posts SEO-wise (not that I care): Berkeley Protest Posters of the 1960s and 70s. A lot of people type Berkeley and protest into google every day, as it turns out.
Berkeley was ground zero for some of the earliest student protests in the 1960s, in 1964 (as you may know, the ‘60s really began in 1964, and didn’t end until 1973). And it was also ground zero for protest poster art (most Peace and antiwar posters, but also labor posters, anti-corporate posters, etc). I stumbled upon a large collection of these posters… see all the images (and a description of the campus student workshop that spawned them) here.
Post #3: Cuban Posters from the ‘60s and ‘70s
I saw this exhibit in France in 2020, and realized that most people would never see it unless I blogged about it. Here’s the post: Amazing Cuban Poster Exhibit From The 1960s and 70s.
The ‘60s and ‘70s were the ‘golden age of Cuban Poster design,’ and unsurprisingly most of them are anti-American and anti-war posters. But many of those same protest artists also did great movie posters in the same style, and this exhibit featured both.
Post #4: Amos Kennedy, Jr.
Amos Kennedy Jr. is a letterpress artist I saw speak in Oakland, CA a few years ago. Which resulted in this post: Artist Amos Kennedy Jr… ‘It’s a Joy To Make Stuff’. Kennedy’s posters are simple and powerful, hope you’ll check them out and also watch the video of his talk, which is super inspiring.
Post #5: Berkeley’s Peace Wall
In the 1980s, a group of people concerned about the nuclear proliferation and the cold war (which was about to end) came together to build a wall of ceramic tiles in Berkeley’s Civic Center Park. Most of the tiles were local, but others came from all over the world... a hopeful spin on protest art. I photographed the wall a few years ago and did this post, check it out: Berkeley’s Wall For Peace, Revisited 30 Years Later.
Post #6: Songs From The War On Coal.
Not visual art, but still art. Coal (and coal mine owners) have been pissing people off for a very long time, resulting in plenty of protests. Check out the post, and the songs: Songs From The War On Coal.