We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. —- President Donald Trump, Inauguration Speech, 1/20/2017
What do the posters tell us about the Women’s March?
As it evolved from post-election despair, I hoped that the Women’s March would become an affirmation of unity instead of a flat rejection of the ideological personality of Donald Trump. To me, the five images chosen by the Amplifier Foundation does just that by highlighting the struggle between the conceptual and the concrete, the abstract and the material, and the biological and the cultural.
The “Hear Our Voice” poster eloquently presents unity in diversity in form, color, and background. Notice the abstracted black fist with the red flame that supports the three distinct and individualized hands, one with a ring, one with bracelets and one with nail polish. Notice the visual movement from the bottom text to the collective birdsong. The bird, the shared voice is the only diagonal in the image that breaks the unity and symmetry of the image. Notice the starry blue background that references the United States of America. Notice the colors and the use of blood red. Notice the handcrafted quality of the image. This poster represents doing without the comfort of pristine ideology. For artists out there saying you can do better. Do it. There is room for more vision. This poster is only one of five on one website. “Hear our voice” is a call to act, to listen. It paints an alternative picture of collaboration and action, against masculine competition fueled by greed, violence and empty egotistical ideology.
If we read the Women’s March Principles (addressing issues of violence, reproduction, LGBQTIA, work, civil rights, disability, immigration and environment) with this visual in mind, we see the movement towards unity as THE struggle, irrespective of coming and going political establishments. Where human rights can be abstract and universal, Women’s rights depend on the immediacy of blood and local support. How can we take care of our sisters despite our disagreements? How can we have a working conversation about sensitive and intimate problems about our bodies, our work, and our loved ones? None of us have the answer to these questions on our own. That’s the point. That’s what the poster and the march are about.
Previously, I had considered the visual strategies of the Occupy Wall Street posters. The Women’s March offers an alternative and parallel world of action. It asks, what if we value collaborative action over power secured through profit?
For me, the Women’s March is about amplifying our common needs despite our biological, cultural, political and economic differences.
I join my daughter, you and yours at the Women’s March in Washington and beyond,
Walking with you always,
Mom, sister, friend, hungryphil, Lisa
For more posters go to http://march.domecollective.com/