Apr 12

May Day 2012

I made this poster for May Day here in Toronto. I wanted to try my hand at a 5.5×17 inch format, basically two posters to an 11×17 tabloid page, while thinking about all of those narrow electrical poles we try to put our posters up on.

It uses very minimal text, which has some obvious advantages and limitations – it allows the design to be visually striking and clearer from a distance, but doesn’t tell you a whole lot about what May Day is or why it matters.

And yes, that’s my fist in the image. One of my goals is to use my hand in more of my work, but I thought that meant drawing! And I want to locate myself in my work more, in terms of why I’m doing it. In this case, I’ve been helping to organize May Day marches with No One Is Illegal – Toronto since 2007.

The original idea was not to have a singular image, but a series, so we could scan a bunch of people’s fists, and put those into the posters. I like the variation of a series and the possibility of people putting up posters seeing themselves in the image and feeling a sense of ownership.

This poster below is by M1M, one of the three groups – along with No One Is Illegal – Toronto and (de)Occupy Toronto – trying to help coordinate the planning of the day this year, and it gives you a sense of some of the collective demands.

If you’re interested in seeing more May Day designs, the folks at Occuprint have been sharing new posters almost every day.

See you in the streets!

Update: My friend Hussan made a composite of Toronto May Day Posters!

Nov 11

(Un)Occupy Canada

I’m posting this after a tumultuous day. Late last night Occupy Wall Street was violently raided by police, then this morning I woke up to news that Occupy Toronto was being served with eviction notices for 12:01AM (there’s now a temporary court injunction until at least Friday).

So when I say (Un)Occupy Canada, I’m not talking about ending the occupations. It’s about us recognizing that Canada is already “occupied” land and that indigenous sovereignty has to be a foundational component of our work.

Occupy sites can be an important, if challenging, place to have these discussions. I attended a great workshop on racism and colonialism at the camp and that’s where the inspiration for this design came from (also, see Two Row Wampum). Since this Saturday’s march was called in solidarity with indigenous peoples, it was a perfect occasion for our second sign-printing session (thanks Sheila, Jenny, and Ed!).

Unfortunately we got off to a late start due to some runny ink and unhelpful clamps, but we mixed up a way better purple by adding some white, decided to get rid of the clamps, and we were rolling from there…

If we can make it happen in time, we’ll make a batch of these for Indigenous Sovereignty Week.

 Top two photos by Sheila Hewlett, bottom photo by ana_lee_smith on Flickr

Oct 11

99% vs Ford

Top 2 images via Yellow Sweaty Gorilla, 3rd via Teal Johannson-Knox

Had some fun on Saturday screenprinting signs with friends (Craig, Jenny, Ed and Gabi!) for the Occupy demonstration. We cooked up a quick design to connect the 99% messaging with the Stop the Cuts organizing since the march was going from the financial district to City Hall.

Would love to come back and do it again with a new design, especially something that talks about how Toronto and Canada are already occupied land. Any suggestions?

Oct 11

Occupied Canada

The folks at Justseeds have done a great service sharing and producing graphics for the Occupy movement. They also put out a great account of screenprinting on-site at the Wall Street occupation (with a great title: “Occuprint Everything!”).

Here’s a few of my favourite designs from up north that speak to the necessary decolonization work that needs to be a central part of this movement.

As well, here’s three important pieces written by Jessica Yee, Syed Hussan and Harsha Walia.

-OCCUPY – The Game of Colonialism by ERIN KONSMO

 No Banks, No Borders, No Broken Treaties