If there’s anything to learn from the various tragedies of the past few years, it’s that every human deserves to be treated with tolerance and respect. The authors of the Declaration of Independence said it best: “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Human rights aren’t up for debate, and our featured Protest Posters 2 design make that message loud and clear.
“Sisterhood is Voting” (above, left) was designed by Sanja Planinic. Planinic, who is originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina but now works and resides in New York, designed this poster for AIGA’s Get Out the Vote: Empowering the Women’s Vote campaign. 2020 was the centennial of the 19th Amendment’s ratification, which gave women the right to vote. However, it wasn’t until the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 that all women voting rights were enforced. AIGA’s campaign supported voter participation and served as a backdrop for a discussion about the history of voting rights and women’s fight for equality. The poster uses language as a homage to the “Sisterhood is Blooming / Springtime Will Never Be the Same” poster created in the 1970s by the Chicago Women’s Graphics Collective. This poster isn’t Planinic’s first foray into feminist causes — she’s also designed posters for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and International Women’s Day.
Our next entry is “Against Violence” (above, right), which was submitted by Finnish designer and Graphis Master Kari Piippo. Piippo is the head of his own studio, Kari Piippo Oy, in Mikkeli, Finland. He’s a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationales (AGI) and specializes in illustration and poster design. He created this poster in protest against street violence, saying that, “People have the right to protest, but not all means are allowed.” In his design, Piippo depicts rough, grey cubes of what appears to be concrete, slashed through with a thick red line. With his simple but powerful message, Piippo conveys the importance of peace, and that violence doesn’t solve problems but creates them.
Moving from Finland to Mexico, “They Are Memory. They are Present. Where Are They?” (above, left) was designed by Eduardo Davit. It was created for May 20th, the annual anniversary devoted to disappeared detainees in Uruguay. Specifically, the design was created for La Marcha del Silencio, a public mobilization that’s been carried out in Montevideo, Uruguay since 1995. Organized by the Uruguayan Mothers and Relatives of Disappeared Detainees and other organizations, its objective is to call on society to generate social pressure for the clarification of the disappearances and unpunished murders that took place during the last civic-dictatorship in Uruguay and South America. Davit’s approach was to work with the land and the question mark insinuated within by assembling and photographing it, therefore conveying a powerful message. On the day of the march, the poster went viral, and resulted in an overall excellent reaction throughout the population to raise awareness about a difficult subject.
Our last featured design is “Disappeared MX” (above, right) by Paco Macías Velasco. The design was self-commissioned, with Velasco aiming to draw attention to the growing forced disappearances of people in Mexico. Seven people disappear every day, and experts agree that organized crime and human trafficking are responsible. Through various colored fingerprints, Velasco gives personality to the missing people in his country. With the featured #DISAPPEAREDMX, he tries drawing attention to this unsustainable situation, urging the Mexican government to make a much greater effort to stop this problem. “As a professional photographer and visual artist, but above all as a citizen, I cannot remain silent in the face of this terrible situation,” Velasco says. “For me, creating this poster is a small grain of sand, which I hope will serve to show my solidarity with the victims of enforced disappearance and their families. Communication must serve the interest of the people.”
Feeling fired up? Head over to Graphis’ main website and check out these and other submissions in our Protest Posters 2competition!