Digital Composite – Week 09

Digital Composite – Week 09


Following on from my attempt at a subtle political message, I decided to create something a little bit more direct and graphic: activist posters.

Presenting my work last week, it was pointed out that there was nothing in my image that suggested that my subjects were in fact doctors. There was no signifier. This struck me as being a massive downfall in my work, because without it, I’m really just attaching my own story to the work – the audience has no real opportunity to create their own narrative. At least not one that helps me convey what I’m trying to say in the image. So for the final project, I’m going to really hammer it home.

Still drawing a lot from The Design of Dissent, I decided to work on two triptychs. The first, being a subversion of the obscene Australian National Security Hotline campaign. Similarly to my previous project, I would like to turn these posters on themselves, in a John Heartfield kind of way, for this campaign truly is propaganda…

Australian Government 'National Security Hotline' campaign
Australian Government 'National Security Hotline' campaign
Australian Government 'National Security Hotline' campaign

Whilst this will be a fairly straightforward graphic exercise, the trick will be how I make these my own, whilst still retaining the feel that they are referring to these posters. After creating them, I’d really like to do some simple composite work that shows them in situ – maybe on a bus shelter or train station.

For the second triptych, I’m going to take on an issue that I’ve started feeling quite strongly about of late: boat people. Recently I was at my childhood home, watching the news with my father, when it was announced that a boatload of asylum seekers had been found. Something along the lines of “this wouldn’t have happened if Howard was in” was heard to be muttered from across the room. I spat something fairly unconsidered back in response, and that neatly marked the beginning of what I’ve noticed to be a marked increase in talk of the boat people ‘problem’.

There are all kinds of things wrong with our Government’s policy, but what really upsets me is the general feeling from the public that our shores must be protected from these people arriving at all costs. For all the rhetoric, finger pointing and money spent, I can’t think of one person actually asking why are we afraid of these people? And let’s be honest, that’s where this anger grows from: fear.

My first mockup effort was a bit dry. Looking like a UNICEF ad, or something similar, it didn’t really get the instant impact I was going for…

What Are You Afraid Of? mockup

It also included a lot of text, which rambled a few different points about the current situation. I decided that these would be better served as their own individual posters, each making a separate statement, but clearly being from the same series. The second mockup was a little more successful…

What Are You Afraid Of? mockup

Heading over to Illustrator, instead of Photoshop, clean, clear, vector graphics should be more helpful for this project. Whilst the above image has a long way to go, I think it’s heading in a good direction and could easily be expanded into several posters, creating an activist campaign.

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