Art for Advocacy: 13 Posters for Sustainable Social Change

Octopus Vulgaris

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oil octopus gul of mexico oil spill poster

credit: Illustration and printing by Jude Landry

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"As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social justice, environmental defense, and liberation from oppression."

That's the opening line from Elizabeth Resnick's curator statement about her excellent collection, Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012. Resnick is Professor and Chair of the Graphic Design Department at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts. She was generous enough to allow TreeHugger to share some of our favorite posters from the collection. The following designs highlight a number of environmental issues including climate change, food security, and war. The collection will be on display at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York City, July 8–August 28, 2013.

Curator statement:

"As a medium for social change, posters record our struggles for peace, social justice, environmental defense, and liberation from oppression. From the confrontational and political, to the promotional, persuasive and educational, the poster in all its forms has persisted as a vehicle for the public dissemination of ideas, information and opinion. Posters are dissent made visible—they communicate, advocate, instruct, celebrate, and warn, while jarring us to action with their bold messages and striking iconography. Posters also serve as a telling indication of a graphic designer's commitment to society when non-commissioned posters are created as vehicles to raise money to support political and humanitarian causes. Without a doubt, the poster remains the most resonant, intrinsic and enduring item in the arsenal of a contemporary graphic designer."

Illustration and printing by Jude Landry, USA, 2010
Courtesy of Professor Elizabeth Resnick, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston.

"I personify the oil spill as a sea monster to convey how the Gulf States are in the grips of a dangerous oily octopus, and how these states have put themselves in harm's way to help feed America's need for oil."