Stickers by Starchild Stela

In May at the 2015 Montréal Anarchist Book Fair, I picked up some beautifully made stickers that carry a punch called Feminist Sailor Moon Set by Starchild Stela. I tracked down the artist recently to ask if she’d send me an artist’s statement to add to my blog. Check it out!

Artist’s Statement

I’m a queer graffiti artist who does work relating to my personal experiences. My work is aesthetically bound in the super femme realm, I like soft colors, bows and delicate details. I don’t see what I do as extremely political, but I do situate my experiences in a larger framework of interlocking systems of oppression. I love to add captions to my illustrations that reflect my on-going thoughts and conversations I have with friends. For me, art making is one of the way I chose to cope with daily micro-aggressions as a trauma survivor; it’s simply a form of self-care that works for me.

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I mostly do graffiti with spray paint, but I also have been making stickers for years. I love to put them outside on postal boxes… I used to only draw them by hand. I started to print some when people started asking to buy them – it was a period of my life where I had no income, so I tried it out. Printing stickers is great, although I still prefer to make handmade ones for the streets. But I love the process, I still hand draw the illustration that goes on the printed stickers, and still cut them myself to reduce cost.

You asked me about my sailor moon sticker set – basically, last year, I wanted to do a zine about Sailor Moon, one of my greatest inspirations as a kid. I was rediscovering it at the moment, preparing myself to watch the reboot (Sailor Moon Crystal). I did tons of drawings that fit within my queer feminist interpretation of the books (and the show). I think there are incredibly powerful, magic queer and feminist subtexts in this series. I titled my zine “Destroy Rape Culture”, and all the slogans in the zine and sticker set are related to this mission. It’s about fighting and surviving oppression the best we can by supporting each other. My Sailor Moon zine is really centered around my process of recovery and was made with survivors in mind. Some of the subjects I touch in this project are healing, reclaiming our strength and power, consent, rape culture, street harassment, friendships and talking back. It was overall a very positive experience for me to create these pieces, and I received really great feedback.

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I used some of the illustrations to create a sticker set; I love to put them outside. I also did larger paste-ups of some of my favorite illustrations. People are really receptive – I think it’s because the Sailor Moon fandom is filled with awesome, critical thinking folks, and because there is a need for artwork that reflects our experiences dealing with patriarchal oppression.

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You can find images through my Fb page (Starchild Stela), tumblr (femme-crimes) and instagram (@littlestarchild).

esm-artificial stickers

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A large envelope arrived recently at work filled with bright, multi-colored stickers by the Vancouver-based street artist and graphic designer Kenn Sakurai, also known as esm-artificial. His are hand-silkscreened, hand-separated, machine- and hand-cut stickers of words and phrases, such as “I love that you love,” “new wave,” “I LOVE YOU MORE ESM,” “CARE BULLY,” “LITTLE HATERS,” “SALAD BAR,” “FREE EGGS,” “FLIRT MONSTER,” and “NEW ROMANTIC.” Sizes of the ones he sent to me range from about an inch to seven inches. Some stickers reference music, pop culture, films, and film stars like Planet of the Apes, Hello Kitty, and Audrey Hepburn.

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Kenn told me via email that for the words and phrases stickers, he draws the text by hand, scans it, and die cuts it using a plotter. At the end, everything is pieced together letter by letter, which he said is the most time-consuming, but on a full day, he and a studio assistant can make anywhere from 30 to 50 stickers at a time. The craftsmanship is really exquisite!

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Artist’s statement

“I have been involved in making prints and stickers using serigraphy, aerosol and other paint, vinyl & wood for many many years. I am fascinated by the sticker format including post office labels, pharmacy prescription labels, “hello, my name is” stickers, adhesive price tags and stickers on fruit.

Curated gallery showings are fantastic but doing work outdoors has a different kind of buzz and immediacy that motivates me to create more user-friendly, spontaneous humorous work for all ages. My dialogue is intended to be colourful, quirky, thought-provoking, flippant and reactionary that in a quick glance can resonate on a deeper level with the viewer. I hope the public placement of my stickers invites the viewer to react to it by laughing, taking a photo/sharing or stealing it for their own personal collection.

It’s hard to put into words, the odd feeling of exhilaration I get when putting up something as seemingly simple as a sticker into a public space and with the hope that it engages the viewer.

There is a kind of intrigue and new life to a sticker that develops on the street when several other collections from different artists build up in a small space over time. It is like the work morphs into a new being that is controlled only by a synthesis of many different individuals adding to the ‘sticker bombed’ sites.

It has been fascinating to see from my sticker beginnings at home as a kid to more serious sticker development in art school (1994) until now. I can stand back and not only be able to see my work from an early perspective within the movement but also be a regular public viewer in watching how much the phenomenon of stickering has grown throughout cities of the world today.

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I feel as though I can put out a sort of spontaneous ‘word of the day’ or ‘phrase of the day’ sticker without any forced preconceived notion. It keeps things moving in the moment for me. I have always loved stickers such as ‘I’m with stupid’, ‘Have a Nice day’, ‘Keep on Truckin,’ etc. and noted that I have never known the originators of these types of stickers and found it refreshing that the ego, names, or tags were not attached to these works. I do have some stickers that include my name but the bulk of my work is simply about the wordplay and text that I try to create and build by hand. Artists such as On Kawara, John Baldessari, Espo, Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner & Ron Terada’s work resonate with me as well as the likes of Pee-wee Herman, MAD Magazine, SCTV and Bob Ross.

The creative element to my stickering is not random and I try to specifically design a text or type that suits the word or phrase that I tend to illustrate. The colour choice is integral to giving these works a voice in the public space.

The culmination of my hundreds & thousands of individual stickers and prints is what creates a final large colourful tree-like structure for me in my mind. But it is the ‘leaves’ which are the individual stickers that carry the messages of the day to the people.”

–Kenn Sakurai, a.k.a. esm-artificial

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Weaving the Streets & People’s History Archive

What is our “people’s history archive of street culture” going to look like?

Street culture is a ubiquitous form of expression that resists easy definition. Our people’s history archive of street culture will document the creative and complex ways in which ordinary people make use of public space. For our project, city-based street culture includes but is not limited to public performances, graffiti, painted murals, neighborhood gardens, parks, urban reclamation projects, political demonstrations, and any other public gatherings. Other suburban and/or rural “ground up” initiatives, such as farm-to-fork community-supported agriculture (CSA) projects, could also be represented in our people’s history archive. The challenge will be to find physical, hand-held materials that document these sorts of activities that we can scan and add to the digital archive. Many forms of street culture are ephemeral in nature, which creates a methodological challenge to collecting materials and reminds us why it is important to gather them before they are lost, forgotten, or destroyed.

Like archives elsewhere, our people’s history archive of street culture will represent and/or reveal the interests and values of societies, cultures, and/or subcultures from which the materials in the archive are drawn. However, materials in an archive of street culture will also undoubtedly reflect values that include commitments to civil rights, social justice, equity, and fairness for the greater good of all members of a population. A people’s history archive will put an emphasis on the benefits of shared or collaborative endeavors over actions and activities geared toward corporate, commercial, or self-interests.

Our people’s history archive of street culture will likely represent populist and democratic ideals. A populist, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people.” A democracy invites equal participation from all of its citizens and strives to make it possible for every individual to live up to his or her potential. Those who have fostered populist ideas in the United States include the historian and author Studs Terkel and the songwriter and musician Pete Seeger.

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Our people’s history archive of street culture will likely have a certain folksy quality, too, in the style of folk traditions, meaning items in the archive would be home-made, low-tech, low brow, do-it-yourself, free, and publicly available. Items would be one-of-a-kind or created in small numbers.

Our people’s history archive could include announcements, flyers, leaflets, posters, or broadsides for events that bring people together, such as community dinners, town hall gatherings, music concerts, or union, school, or church meetings. Other forms of creative expression, such as zines, stickers, and silkscreened cloth patches sewn on clothing or knapsacks could also be included. Sheila Murray ’15 picked up this small card from Café Oteca, an owner-managed coffee shop in San José, Costa Rica, in the spring of 2014. From what she told me, one can buy a drink for someone else by writing a note and pinning it to the wall in a sort of “pay-it-forward” community connection project. It would be great fun to go in, read someone’s note over a café latte, and then buy a cup of java for the next person.

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“Found” items could be handwritten notes or even something like this playing card that Raina Puels ’16 picked up in NYC last fall. I’m curious to hear how she will describe it for our Street Art Graphics digital archive.

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Examples of Other Citizen-Based Archives Projects

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has created a Citizen Archivist Dashboard that allows registered users the ability to tag images, edit and transcribe texts, and upload and share their own materials. The NARA mission is “to provide public access to Federal Government records in our custody and control. Public access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so they can participate more effectively in their government.”

The Triangle Open Archive offers several features and functionalities in keeping with our people’s archive of street culture project. The Triangle Fire Open Archive explores “the personal, political and historical legacy of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire [in New York City] through community-contributed objects … that critically connect to issues of immigrant, women’s and labor rights.” Items are categorized by “People,” “Politics & Activism,” “Cultural Response,” and “Memorial.”

Europeana uses Historypin (“a global community collaborating around history”) for a project called Europeana 1989 that allows contributors to add photos, videos, audio files, and written stories to a collection of materials related to the fall of the Iron Curtain in Central and Eastern Europe. According to the Web site, “The project aims to create a vivid and complete picture of the revolutionary events in Europe with stories, photos, videos and sound recordings from every country affected. Personal stories, memories and experiences can help others to better understand what it was like and to see events from a different perspective. By collecting personal memorabilia and stories from this period, and combining it with institutional collections, we aim to create an engaging user experience.”

The People’s Archive of Sinking and Melting, based out of Dublin, Ireland, and San Francisco, California, is “a collection of materials contributed by people living in places that may disappear because of the combined physical, political, and economic impacts of climate change, primarily sea level rise, erosion, desertification, and glacial melting. Together, through common but differentiated collections, they form an archive of what will have been.”

The People’s Archive of Rural India documents “the everyday lives of everyday people.” The Web site is under construction, but categories include “things we do,” “things we make,” “farming and its crisis,” “faces,” “women,” “the rural in the urban,” “adivasis” (“first dwellers”), and many other topics.

Initially based out of the United Kingdom, a Peoples Archive grew out of a Science Archive project that originally video recorded the autobiographical life stories of famous scientists. This Peoples Archive expanded to include stories about the lives of famous authors, filmmakers, artists, and others. In 2008, it evolved into the Web of Stories, which today features thousands of stories from the international public on a wide range of channels such as “Love,” “War,” “Ageing and Death,” and “Inspiration and Innovation.”

The Paisley People’s Archive from Paisley, Scotland, is “a community-based project which focuses on the city’s social history of industrial heritage and related leisure activities. Consisting of digitally recorded oral history interviews, archival research, and old and new images, the Archive recreates Paisley’s history as remembered by its people.”

New course proposal for “Street Art Graphics” digital archive project

The pegatinas writing assignment with Marina Llorente and the Weaving the Streets & People’s Archive project with John Collins have both gone so well that I’ve decided to develop a new course proposal that would offer students the opportunity to conduct research and write about street art stickers and ephemera related to street culture for the Street Art Graphics digital archive. One of the biggest game changers for the archive is that I’m trying to convince SLU to convert from ContentDM to Artstor Shared Shelf, a Web-based cataloguing and image management software system that would provide several improvements. In addition to higher quality image presentation, the Artstor cataloguing tool includes a vocabulary warehouse so that artists’ names, geographic locations, and subject headings are automatically linked to authority records from the Library of Congress and the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, among others. Metadata schemas are highly customizable, as are different user roles for collaborative cataloguing. Artstor will also store and back up all of our source images for long-term, off-site preservation. Most important, however, is the fact that Shared Shelf allows users to publish content directly to the Web through Shared Shelf Commons, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Omeka, Google, and other outlets. This last feature is what is most exciting. Despite how well Artstor presents images, I have avoided using it up until now because content is available only to paid subscribers (not very democratic of them, is it?). With Shared Shelf Commons, however, we could share our digital content freely with everyone in keeping with St. Lawrence University’s open access policies.

Here is what I have so far for the course overview and the initial list of required readings. Now I have to put together the assignments and the weekly schedule and submit this puppy to the art & art history department for their approval. Fingers crossed in advanced!

Street Art Graphics & People’s Archive Course Overview

This course offers students the opportunity to conduct research and write about street art graphics for an online digital archive available on St. Lawrence University’s Richard F. Brush Art Gallery Web site (http://www.stlawu.edu/gallery/digitalcollections/streetartgraphics.php) and on Artstor Shared Shelf Commons, a free, open access international digital image library of arts and sciences (http://www.sscommons.org/openlibrary/welcome.html#1). The Street Art Graphics & People’s Archive is based primarily on contemporary street art stickers and ephemera related to street culture from countries around the world, including Canada, Egypt, England, France, Germany, Indonesia, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States. Topics addressed include animal rights, consumer capitalism, environment, football, gender and sexuality, labor, police brutality, political protests, racism, social justice, and surveillance, among others. The course enables students to use real world examples of street art culture to understand current global issues and to be part of writing history through citizen journalism. Incorporating critical thinking and visual/media literacies, students will learn how to annotate images, hone their writing skills, and contribute their work to a vibrant and unique digital image archive. A digital geo-mapping project at the end of the semester will further contextualize items in the archive.

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Selected Readings

Burkeman, DB, and Monica LoCascio. Stickers: From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art. New York: Rizzoli, 2010. Print.

Chaffee, Lyman G., Political Protest and Street Art: Popular Tools for Democratization in Hispanic Countries. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993. Print. Chapter 1: pages 3-22; Chapter 3: pages 37-52.

Clough, Alice. Combating Urban Disengagement? Stickers as a Form of Street Art. London: University College London Department of Anthropology Working Paper 09/2011. Print.

Ferrante, Julia. ‘Street art’ provides context for understanding cities. 20 July 2011. Web.

Gregory, Lua, and Shana Higgins, eds. Information Literacy and Social Justice: Radical Professional Praxis. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2013. Print.

Irvine, Martin. “The Work on the Street: Street Art and Visual Culture” in The Handbook of Visual Culture. London/New York: Berg. 2012. Print.

Leckie, Gloria J, Lisa M. Given, and John E. Buschman, eds. Critical Theory for Library and Information Science. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited. 2010. Print. (Chapters include “Transformative Library Pedagogy and Community-Based Libraries: A Freiran Perspective” by Martina Riedler and Mustafas Yunus Eryaman and “The Public Library as a Space for Democratic Empowerment: Henry Giroux, Radical Democracy, and Border Pedagogy” by Mustafas Yunus Eryaman.)

Morrone, Melissa, ed. Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond. Sacramento: Library Juice Press, 2014. Print. (Chapters include “Whatcha Doin’ After the Demo? The Importance of Archiving Political Posters” by Vince Teetart; “To Spread the Revolution: Anarchist Archives and Libraries” by Jessica Moran; “Building an Archive from Below: Reflections from Interference Archive” by Molly Fair; “Librarian Is My Occupation: A History of the People’s Library of Occupy Wall Street” by Jaime Taylor and Zachary Loeb; and “Why Archive? and Other Important Questions Asked by Occupy Wall Street” by Sian Evans, Anna Perricci, and Amy Roberts.)

Pollock, Caitlin M. J., and Andrea Battleground. A Gallery for the Outlaw: Archiving the Art of the Iconoclast. Association of College and Research Libraries. 2013. Print.

Walker, Jill. Distributed Narrative: Telling Stories Across Networks. Bergen: University of Norway Department of Humanistic Informatics. 2004. Print.

Wallace, Margot. Writing for Museums. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 2014. Print.

Zinn, Howard. “Secrecy, Archives, and the Public Interest.” The Zinn Reader: Writings on Disobedience and Democracy. New York City, NY: Seven Stories Press. 2011. Print.

Pegatinas writing assignment – featured SLU student research – Jamie Abraham ‘15

The fall 2013 pegatinas final writing writing assignment for Dr. Marina Llorente’s ESP 439 seminar Literatura, cine y cultura en la España contemporànea went really well. Having the students first annotate the images made a big difference. Students were also given the chance to submit preliminary drafts of their work to get feedback on their writing. The students who annotated images, conducted additional research, and revised their writing subsequently aced the assignment. During the upcoming week, I am going to post examples from several students to be able to show others this process of writing about stickers. Today’s featured student is Jamie Abraham ’15, and she gave permission to have her work included on Stickerkitty. She analyzed a group of stickers about environmental issues in Spain. Here are two.

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  1. Text: Safe? — Nuclear? — No, Thank You!
  2. Image: Skull disguised as nuclear power plant
  3. Logo: Joves d’esquerra verda, an environmental organization that focuses on the betterment of Cataluña and a youth sub-organization of the political party Iniciativa per Catalunya Verds (Iniciativa por Cataluña Verdes).
  4. Link: joves.cat. Main website for Joves d’esquerra verda
  1. Texto: Segur? — Nuclears? — No, Gràcies!
  2. Imagen: Cráneo disfrazado como centrales eléctricas
  3. Logo: Joves d’esquerra verda, un grupo ecologista que enfoca en el ecosocialismo de Cataluña y es una sub-organización del partido político la Iniciativa por Cataluña Verdes.
  4. Enlace: joves.cat. Sitio de Joves d’esquerra verda

Description

This sticker was created by Joves d’esquerra verda. They provide a link to the interactive and informative Web site, and the organization’s logo is also presented on the sticker. The text Segur? translates to Safe?. Coupled with the image of a skull underneath the nuclear power machine illustrates the message that nuclear energy is not safe for citizens and will propose real issues for humans and the environment. A fifth of Spain’s energy is nuclear via seven power plants, with the recent closure of one in Garoña. This sticker highlights the lack of information provided by nuclear companies to citizens regarding issues of environmental and human health. However, it demonstrates the effort of a politically associated group, and more importantly a youth organization, that shows the proactivity of the younger generations. This sticker presents the widely translated phrase in opposition to nuclear energy Nuclears? No, gràcies. This indicates the large movement of regions refusing nuclear energy. The situation above ground seems innocuous; simple structures and blue skies suggest nothing is wrong. Segur? questions this appearance and underground the truth is revealed; the bold text No, gràcies is placed close to the skull to draw the eyes of the reader to the dangerous repercussions of nuclear energy.

Descripción

Esta pegatina fue creado por Joves d’Esquerra Verda. Provee el vinculo a su página web interactiva y informativa, y el logotipo de la organización se presentan en la pegatina. El texto Segur? se traduce en seguridad?. Junto con la imagen de un cráneo debajo de la máquina de energía nuclear ejemplifica el mensaje de que la energía nuclear no es segura para los ciudadanos, y propondrá problemas reales para los seres humanos y el medio ambiente. Un quinto de la energía de España es nuclear a través de siete centrales eléctricas, y un cierre reciente de uno en Garoña. Esta pegatina recalca la falta de información provee a los ciudadanos por las compañías nucleares sobre las cuestiones de la salud ambiental y humano. Sin embargo, demuestra el intento positivo de un grupo político, y más importante, un grupo juvenil, lo que muestra las acciones preventivas de los jóvenes. Esta pegatina ofrece la frase común del mundo en oposición de energía nuclear pero en catalán, Nuclears? No, gràcies. Esto indica el gran movimiento de las áreas que se niegan la energía nuclear. La situación sobre la tierra parece inocuo con el cielo azul y las maquinas simples. La pregunta Segur? duda esta escena y debajo la tierra se revela la verdad; el texto en negrita, No, gràcies se coloca cerca del cráneo para dibujar los ojos del lector a las repercusiones peligrosos de la energía nuclear.

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  1. Text: Nuclear? No, Thank You — No To The Centralized Temporary Storage — Close Garoña… And The Rest
  2. Image: Smiling sun symbol of antinuclear organizations worldwide, created in 1977
  3. Logo: Ecologists in action — Ecologistas en acción
  1. Texto: Nucleares? No, Gracias — No Al ATC (Almacén Temporal Centralizado) – Cierre De Garoña… Y De Todas Las Demás
  2. Imagen: Sol sonriente símbolo de organizaciones antinucleares mundiales, crea en 1977
  3. Logo: Ecologistas en acción

Description

Simple, yet effective sticker illustrating the necessity to abolish nuclear energy usage and to close power plants. The text is bold and grabs the attention of the audience. It is not overly aggressive, but is firm in its request. “No to nuclear energy. No to the ATC” (Almacén temporal centralizado de España/Centralized Temporary Storage), which is a project to expand current nuclear waste facilities to accommodate high activity level waste from Spain, France, and the UK. Opposition highlights the lack of economic benefits, the risks of building facilities and transporting high-level waste, and the overall discomfort and apprehension from citizens. This sticker calls for the closure of Garoña, a nuclear plant in Burgos, Spain, and continues to request closure of the rest of Spain’s seven nuclear power plants. The smiling sun is the international symbol of anti-nuclear organizations and its presence suggests the inclusion of the rest of the world in rejecting nuclear energy. Finally, the logo for Ecologistas en Acción propagates their presence in fighting for environmental issues.

Descripción

Simple, pero efectivo pegatina que ilustra la necesidad de abolir el uso de la energía nuclear y cerrar las centrales eléctricas. El texto en negro atrae la atención de la audiencia. No es demasiado agresivo, pero es firme en sus peticiones. “No a la energía nuclear. No a la ATC” (Almacén Temporal Centralizado de España), que es un proyecto de ampliación de las instalaciones de residuos nucleares actuales para dar cabida a los residuos de actividad alta procedentes de España, Francia y el Reino Unido. La oposición incluye la falta de beneficios económicos, los riesgos de la construcción de instalaciones y transporte de residuos de actividad alta, y el malestar general y la aprehensión de los ciudadanos. Esta pegatina pide el cierre de Garoña, una central nuclear en Burgos, España; continúa solicitud de cierre del resto de las centrales nucleares. El sol sonriente es el símbolo internacional de organizaciones antinucleares y su presencia sugiere la inclusión del resto del mundo al rechazar la energía nuclear. Por último, el logo de Ecologistas en Acción propaga su presencia en la lucha por las cuestiones ambientales.

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From here, I will work with Arline Wolfe, the SLU arts metadata technician, to polish the writing and to add links and subject headings to each item in the Street Art Graphics digital archive. The biggest news ahead, however, is that I’m making a case at St. Lawrence to have the University sign up for Artstor’s Shared Shelf Commons, a free, international, open access digital image library of arts and sciences. Artstor is one of the best platforms I’ve come across in terms of publishing digital image collections, but I’ve avoided using it in the past because content is only available to paid subscribers (like colleges, universities, museums, etc.). However, with the Shared Shelf Commons, users can now post materials and make them available to everyone, everywhere. More to follow!

More from Easy Tiger, #1 Asia Stickers Museum

Meiffi Oscar from Easy Tiger, #1 Asia Stickers Museum in Indonesia sent me a little more information about his background and interest in stickers and sticker culture (see also previous post on Indonesian political stickers from Easy Tiger, Asia #1 Stickers Museum). He writes:

“I [went on] a motorcycle tour from Java to Sumatra from December 2010 to February 2011. It was remarkable achievement for me cause I used my classic Japanese bike (Honda CB 100cc, 1976). Along the way I saw nature, culture, and got a lot of stickers. Instead of sticking them on my helmet, I just kept them for no reason. It was because I had no copy of them, and limited edition (in terms that I don’t wanna lose it cause it’s an artifact from my journey). Then I got a chance to visit Electric Ladyland Museum in Amsterdam and it made me kept thinking of what kind of museum that I should build.

Then voila, I remembered my motorcycle clubs stickers I had before my trip. I decided to turn the idea into a museum in August 2012 (collecting, hunting, online buying, exchange, asking for donations, etc.).

What I meant before with ignorable stuff (in my other note) is sticker is great art in a small size. People never notice it. If they have it, they stick it. They never think of the story behind it or if they won’t see it again in the future. In terms of preserving this culture, I start to built this art movement.

In Indonesia, lots of people just laugh at classic or vintage stickers from 80’s now. Those stickers are so rare. So it’s my duty to track them, give back the good old memories. In fact, it’s still relevant with nowadays issues such ‘quote’ stickers like ‘silence is gold,’ ‘time is money,’ etc. To prevent this stuff from being abandoned in the future, I also preserve the stickers from present day. I’m thinking about the legacy for the next generation.

Whether it’s for art or research or exhibition or… just for laughs. I bet 100%, once we see stickers from our youth era, we will at least smile. That’s the point. To keep the spirit alive. Even it’s small, cheap, full of tacky or cheesy words, or vulgar, or whatever, I’ll collect all of them. They are the treasure, the legend itself.”

Thanks, Meiffi!  Here is another sticker from the batch I received from him yesterday.  I’m going to need a little help making sense of it.

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Indonesian political stickers from Easy Tiger, Asia #1 Stickers Museum

Oli at Hatch Kingdom told me that someone named Meiffi Oscar has opened a new sticker museum in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, called Easy Tiger, Asia #1 Stickers Museum.

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I got in touch with Meiffi through Facebook, and we have traded some stickers and zines. When asked about Easy Tiger, Meiffi wrote:

“Well, actually the place is my dorm so it’s pretty small for a ‘museum.’ But I dare to claim it though. I got involved in this project when I had inspiration from visiting a unique museum in Amsterdam called Electric Ladyland Museum. After that I’m so eager to play a role as a museum director. And voila, I started the museum about a month later. In fact, the stickers passion is genetic in my blood since I was 15. I’m an old bike rider so we collect lots of motorcycle clubs stickers. And that push me to start to think about how to preserve this art so I can share it with others (like vintage stickers, limited stickers, etc.). I love museums and like being a museum guide, but I never thought about being the director. The way I saw the director of the museum in Amsterdam influenced me to build a small project but something fun and worthy to inspire people. I combine it with vintage stuff, music, and books, so it’ll entertain my friends who just want to chill out. We have a radio though. Haha. So yes, it’s worth having this project.”

For more information about Easy Tiger, go to Meiffi’s blog Stickers Culture, some of which is in Indonesian and some in English.

Yesterday, I received four new political stickers that Meiffi sent from Indonesia. I am going to share what he wrote in his letter to me to help explain the stickers.

“Here is my small package. It’s about the new President, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who won the election on July 20th [2014] and will lead us now till 2019.

There is a lot of unique facts about this person. He was an ex-governor of Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. And the way he leads is unusual and eccentric. He loves to be in the front line when he visits his people. No wonder during the flood in Jakarta, he even took a boat and met refugees directly and straight. No such formal protocol. Once, he checked a sewer by himself. Yes, by himself. It’s not propaganda. But this is his habit for many, many years. Before, he was mayor of Solo (Surakarta). I’ve got a unique story about this. In Surakarta, there’s a public space [that] was occupied by the street sellers for many years. It was a problem for city planners. So this guy used a different approach. He used a smooth approach. By inviting them to have a dinner at his house and they discussed the problem together. But it’s not the end. He did this many times to persuade them to follow the government program about relocation. And guess what, those street sellers want to be relocated after all. And how many times did Jokowi invite them to his house? More than 40 times! I’m not joking, more than 40!

So what I’m trying to say is there’s a new hope in this guy. He tries to make a revolution about Indonesian mentality. About corruption, discipline, hard working, unique, and eccentric (he loves metal music). Perhaps you’re not surprised cause maybe you know lots of leaders like that, but for Indonesians, this is new! And this is a breakthrough.

These stickers [present] a unique concept about how Jokowi and his vice president are doing a blusukan (Javanese term for exploring deeply looking for something).

2014_easytiger_03_003

So no wonder the volunteer for the election made these stickers. Jokowi in here, Jokowi in there. With his white long sleeves and informal appearance.

2014_easytiger_03_001

And the design is so unique, using the style of the Hergé [cartoonist], Tintin! A [Belgian] journalist who traveled all around the world with lots of adventures. That’s Jokowi! A nation hero!

2014_easytiger_03_002

I think that’s enough for this letter. My apologies if my English isn’t so good or you may find incorrect grammar in it. I try my best. Once again, thank you for considering Indonesian political stickers. I’m glad to share it with you. Keep roaring! Roarrrrrr!”

Thank you, Meiffi, for these great stickers from Asia.  I’ll add them to the Street Art Graphics digital archive!


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