The first Designs on Democracy Gathering took place at UC Berkeley in March 2004. The conference gathered designers, communicators, and marketers to strategize around movement-building and best practices. As a core member of the coordinating team, I developed this image to show the intersection between being a designer and an activist. The image is actually a self-portrait imposed on a city landscape. My intersecting identities as a poster artist, activist, designer, and woman of color all came together in this piece.
Statement from "Designs on Democracy" Program:
The propaganda machines of the Right have demonstrated incredible success at managing public participation in civil society, co-opting and controlling diverse cultural forms, and defining the political landscape. The Bush regime, the corporations it serves, and Neoconservative pundits have managed -using (in part) a dual strategy of endless reiteration and media saturation- to steamroll democracy, taking the country to war and rolling back decades of progressive wins on the home front.
There are a growing number of individuals and organizations specializing in design, communications, public relations, and media to support social change. These 'movement-servicing' organizations already play a vital and strategic role in advancing campaigns. However, we would be much more responsive to the needs of the organizations we seek to serve, effective in reaching target audiences, and influential in supporting social change if there were increased communication, skill-sharing and cooperation within our network. The Designs on Democracy conference was the first step in making this possible.
. . . . . see next piece