INTERNATIONAL GRAPHICS OF RESISTANCE
“Globalization…is the closer integration of the countries and peoples of the world ...brought about by the enormous reduction of costs of transportation and communication, and the breaking down of artificial barriers to the flows of goods, services, capital, knowledge, and people across borders."
—Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
Globalization affects every aspect of life on this planet, including climate change, outsourced jobs, pollution, and wars. As ecological crises escalate, resources diminish, and distribution of wealth is increasingly skewed towards the richest 1%, activists and artists throughout the world are speaking with a clarity and coherence exceeding that of most politicians. Their graphic messages are loud and clear: value people over profits, free speech over free trade, and justice over inequality.
The anti-globalization movement was dramatically announced to the world in the 1990s by two memorable social explosions. In 1994, the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN) started their insurrection against the North American Free Trade Agreement, declaring that NAFTA is a death sentence for the indigenous peoples of Mexico. Five years later, tens of thousands protested the meeting of the World Trade Organization in the “Battle of Seattle.” The following decade saw many protests and countless graphics against meetings where representatives of the world’s most powerful economies set agendas for the rest of the world.
Then 2011 happened—protest and protest graphics went viral and continue to spread. Starting with the “Arab Spring” in Tunisia and Egypt which overthrew entrenched dictatorships, protests spread to hundreds of cities in dozens of countries, including the U.S. where the Occupy Movement was born. Contemporary protestors against globalization are using both the new social media—Facebook and Twitter—and the old social media of posters, puppets and t-shirts, to educate, mobilize and inspire. That graphics are central to this ongoing movement is easily understandable—in this visual age, our personal needs, political agendas, and even private emotions are driven by campaigns of calculated imagery. Understanding the power of images is more critical than ever. The posters in this exhibition—taken from the archives and from the streets—show the diversity, creativity and commitment of the activists and artists working to express the needs, dreams and rights of the 99%, to make this world a better place for all.
This exhibition was funded in part by the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles and individual donors.
Note: Images appear in the order intended for exhibition display. Globalize THIS! is available as a traveling exhibition using laminated, digital reproductions or the original vintage posters. Please contact us for more information on bringing an exhibition to your institution.
To view the full Globalize THIS! exhibition with annotations, browse the publication below. Use the toolbar to navigate between pages, view fullscreen, and search annotations for key words and phrases.