Hope To Nope: Graphics And Politics 2008-18
Following a turbulent political decade and the rise of digital media and social networking, graphic iconography has been given a new reach. This medium has changed the way political messages are made and communicated.
The Design Museum are hosting an exhibition Hope To Nope: Graphics And Politics 2008-18 to explore this political graphic design. The political events featured include: the 2008 financial crash; the Barack Obama presidency; the Arab Spring; the Occupy movement; the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; the Charlie Hebdo attacks; Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency.
The exhibition will examine the role of graphics in these milestone events and how it influences opinion, provokes debate and drives activism. There are three main sections; Power, Protest and Personality.
Power explores how graphic design is used by the establishment to assert national and political authority, and how that iconography can be subverted by activists and opponents. Examples include North Korean propaganda, the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Soviet posters turned into a gay rights campaign and Dread Scott’s flag in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Also featuring is a 3m-high replica of the letter ‘N’ from the ‘Newborn’ sculpture that marked Kosovo’s independence from Serbia in 2008.
Protest displays graphic design by activists and demonstrators. The largest section in the exhibition, it includes newspapers from the 2011-12 Occupy London camp, an umbrella used during the 2014 Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Revolution’ and a 2m-high replica of the inflatable duck from the 2016 protests against Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff. This section also looks at the 2015 Je Suis Charlie and Peace for Paris marches, as well as responses to the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster, demonstrating the important role played by graphic design in channelling anger and creating solidarity.
Personality examines the graphic representation of leading political figures. Grassroots support for Jeremy Corbyn is typified by an unofficial Nike t-shirt and an independently published comic book that portrays the Labour Party leader as a super-hero. Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s trademark features are caricatured across the covers of more than 50 international magazines, including The Economist, TIME and Der Spiegel. This section also features the international hacktivist network Anonymous, which protects individual identities behind a smiling Guy Fawkes mask. Originally drawn by David Lloyd for the V for Vendetta graphic novel, the mask has evolved into a symbol of resistance worldwide.
Everyone can voice their opinion on political matters across social media so that all voices are heard and counted.
Hope to Nope is co-curated by the Design Museum and GraphicDesign&’s Lucienne Roberts and David Shaw, with Rebecca Wright.
Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008–18
28 March 2018 – 12 August 2018
The Design Museum
For more information go to designmuseum.org