From the US, Marlena Buczek Smith presents her entry to the Graphis Protest Posters 2 Competition, “Fall Softly” (above, left), an impactful depiction of the American flag over a surgical mask. Instead of the stars typically seen in the blue square of the flag, Smith has created felt teardrops.
These teardrops all fall off of the mask and land at the edge of the poster in a pool of white. “Fall Softly” presents an open criticism of the country’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis; the stars that once shone so brightly on this flag fall with every tear shed during the pandemic.
Spanish artist Pep Carrio presents “Parrhesiastes,” (above, right) a series of posters that question various political issues around the globe, such as free speech or the corruption present in various justice systems. The project, created for the Aluna Art Foundation’s exhibition in Parrhesiastes, intends to create a space for debate on these issues as they appear around the world.
Finally, Graphis Master Igor Ljubicic from Croatia gives us a thoughtful protest poster that criticizes the dark past of Croatia’s political history. His work (above) depicts a stack of books in the shape of the letter “H” to symbolize the original name of the country, Hrvatska. Other letters of the alphabet surround the books on either side.
The “H” represents the political parties of the nation. In interrupting the alphabet, the letter signifys that no matter what direction the “H” faces, no matter what names the parties call themselves by, the parties are still identical to each other and complicit in Croatia’s murky political past.