Archive for the 'the faith of graffiti' Category

Paper leaflets today

In an article North Korea Warns South Over Leaflets, the NY Times reported last week, “North Korea opened fire on Friday after anti-Pyongyang activists in the South sent large balloons sailing across the border with leaflets criticizing the North’s government…. In a commentary published on Saturday [October 11, 2014], the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that the leaflets were ‘an intolerable political provocation’ and ‘psychological warfare,’ and that Seoul and Washington were behind them, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.”

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Check out earlier posts about my Paper Bullets sticker exhibition in Berlin and to see an example of a paper bullet from the Gulf War.

For more info and pictures about recent paper leaflets dropped in North Korea, see also South Korean Activists Drop Anti-Pyongyang Leaflets and USBs into North Korea (International Business Times) and Rival Koreas trade fire over propaganda balloons (UK Mail Online).

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Photo by Ahn Young-Joon from the Associated Press (I will remove photo from post if the AP makes a stink.)

“Paper Bullets: 100 Years of Political Stickers from Around the World” exhibition opens 13 Sept 2014

HATCH KINGDOM STICKER MUSEUM: PRESS RELEASE

Paper Bullets: 100 Years of Political Stickers from around the World

13 September – 24 October 2014

Opening 13 September 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Paper Bullets front to Nadine

Publicly placed stickers with printed images and/or text have been used for decades as a form of political protest or to advocate political agendas. In the United States as early as the mid-1910s, for example, labor unions created the first “stickerettes,” or “silent agitators,” to oppose poor working conditions, intimidate bosses, and condemn capitalism. Later, during World War II, Allied and Axis countries dropped gummed “paper bullets” or “confetti soldiers” from the sky as a form of psychological warfare to demoralize both troops and civilians. And during the 1960s and ’70s American civil rights era, “night raiders” protested the war in Vietnam and U.S. imperialism, and called for racial and gender equity among blacks, whites, men, and women.

Drawing from the private collection of Catherine Tedford, the exhibition highlights political stickers from Canada, Egypt, England, Germany, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States dating from the early 20th century to present day. Topics include labor, animal rights, the environment, gender and sexuality, football, consumer capitalism, surveillance, and police brutality.

Political stickers in the exhibition support Catalan independence, for example, as well as the Arab Spring uprisings, Maidan protests in Ukraine, and the global Occupy revolution, while others comment upon the U.S. war in Vietnam, recent Russian elections, the current economic crisis in Spain, and the effects of urban development in Berlin, Germany. The exhibition also features stickers that focus on U.S. Presidents Richard Nixon, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

Catherine Tedford is gallery director at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. She first discovered street art stickers while visiting Berlin in 2003 and has since collected over 10,000 examples from countries around the world. She writes about political stickers on her research blog Stickerkitty and has presented papers at academic conferences in England, Germany, Scotland and the United States. She has collaborated with Hatch Kingdom on two previous exhibitions of street art stickers in Canada and the United States. This is her first sticker exhibition in Europe.

The exhibition is supported by a faculty research grant from St. Lawrence University.

For more information, contact Catherine Tedford at ctedford@stlawu.edu or Oliver Baudach, the Director of Hatch Kingdom, at oli@hatchkingdom.com.

Paper Bullets back

EPD exhibition review Politische Geschosse aus Papier by Nadine Emmerich

Deutschlandfunk radio interview Sticker-Ausstellung – Die Macht der Aufkleber with Oliver Kranz

Art School Vets “Paper Bullets – 100 Jahre politische Sticker aus der ganzen Welt” im Hatch Sticker Museum

Bright Trade Show Paper Bullets at Hatch Sticker Museum

JUST Urban Art Blog Paper Bullets – 100 Years of Political Stickers from around the World

Lodown Magazine PAPER BULLETS @ hatch sticker museum

RBB Online “100 Jahre politische Sticker” im Hatch Sticker Museum – Politischer Protest auf bunten Blättchen

Installation shots on Flickr

New stickers from Spain for digital archive and writing assignment

I haven’t had much time to post on Stickerkitty lately, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping busy with other things. I heard recently from SLU professor of modern languages, Marina Llorenta, that she’d like to repeat the assignment we created in 2012 to have her students conduct research on political stickers from Spain for her course on “Literature, Film, and Popular Culture in Contemporary Spain,” a project that later turned into an SLU art gallery exhibition called Pegatinas Políticas, which you can read about here. To prepare for the upcoming assignment this fall 2014 semester, I have been keeping an eye out for any sources from which I could acquire new Spanish stickers for her students to analyze. Last November, I contacted close to 30 Spanish political and grassroots organizations via their Facebook Web sites without much response. One group, the Popular Unity Movement Against Crisis, sent me 19 fantastic digital image files but didn’t send any physical items. Marina and I agreed we wanted the students to study the actual paper or vinyl stickers in real life, however, so my searching continued.

I’ve had much better luck finding Spanish stickers this spring. I contacted another SLU professor of modern languages, Steven White, who is currently in Madrid directing the SLU off-campus study program. He made contact with someone via eBay.es to help acquire a set of Spanish stickers dating from the late 1970s to present day (click here to view 31 stickers). A few of the 1970s stickers depict Adolfo Suárez, the first democratically elected prime minister of Spain after General Francisco Franco’s 41-year dictatorship. Suárez just passed away in March of 2014, and Steven thought perhaps that’s why these stickers appeared so recently on the market.

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There are several Catalan independence movement stickers in the group, and from the same dealer we also acquired a set of eight historical stickers by the Direccion General de Juventud y Promocion Sociocultural that promoted the new Spanish Constitution of 1978. The sticker, Viva La Constitucion, La Soberania De España Reside En El Pueblo, means “Long Live The Constitution, The Sovereignty Of The People Living In Spain.”

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Steven, a poet himself, is friends with the Spanish poet and sociologist Jorge Riechmann who helped contribute several stickers relating to current environmental issues. The sticker from Ecologistas En Acción (“Ecologists in Action”) states, Si No Reducen Las Emisiones, No Nos Representan,or “If You Do Not Reduce Emissions, Do Not Represent Us.” A total of 47 new stickers from Steven White and Jorge Riechmann can be viewed here.

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Other stickers that have come in during the past couple of weeks represent various political parties and organizations, such as the Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (National Confederation of Labor), the Izquierda Anticapitalista (Anti-Capitalist Left), the Liga Estudantil Galega (Galician Students’ League), the Galiza Nova (the New Galicia), the Partido Comunista del Pueblo Castellano (Communist Party of the Castillian People? or Peoples of Spain?), and the Esquerda Unida (United Left). One can get a pretty good lesson in the range of Spanish political parties and Spanish autonomous communities by studying these stickers. Os Nosos Dereitos Non Se Recortan from the Esquerda Unida sticker below is Galician for “Our Rights Are Not Cut.”

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And my sticker pal, Oli Baudach at Hatch Kingdom, is originally from Barcelona. He was there recently and sent me a bunch of new Catalan stickers. The one below depicts the Catalan donkey, a symbol often used in reaction to the Spanish symbol of the Osborne bull, superimposed on top of the red and yellow striped Senyera flag with a blue star, or Estelada blava of the Catalan independence movement.

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All told and with the help of friends and others, there are now 139 new stickers from all over Spain dating from the 1970s to present day for Marina’s students to analyze and write about. I will fine-tune the assignment for the fall of 2014. Last time, we had the students write short essays of about 500 words each per sticker, as well as even shorter versions of about 150 words each that would be used as description fields or metadata for the Street Art Graphics digital archive. For some reason, the students often wrote two separate, unrelated pieces. Typically, they did a fine job contextualizing the historical and cultural content of the stickers, but not such a good job describing what was being depicted in each sticker and what those depictions signified. In that regard, some of the basic information for each sticker was missing. Cataloguing can be a challenge; one needs to identify the visual and textual elements, describe their significance, and outline the larger issues that are pointed to in each sticker.

As a side note, I recently discovered the Centro de Recuperación de Pegatinas, an Aragon-based center that has catalogued and archived over 40,000 Spanish stickers. They did posts on Adolfo Suárez, the miners’ march of 2012, and an exhibition of stickers related to Picasso’s Guernica painting, all of which feature stickers in my collection.

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“Forward to Recovery” sticker

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I recently found a great pro-labor political sticker about capitalism and the economy that looks very much like an I.W.W. stickerette due to its size, medium, and message.  It states “Forward to Recovery – Increased Activity – Price Rise – Employment.”  We see “Business” dressed as a fat cat in a fancy suit and pinstripe pants racing forward while being dragged down by the heavy anchor of “Low Wages.”  The artist’s name is difficult to decipher; the signature looks like “Terry Costello,” but I can’t find anything similar online or in any of my I.W.W.-related books and articles.  The reason I think the sticker comes from the I.W.W., however, is because it’s glued onto an envelope dated September 30, 1933.

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The envelope was addressed to Kenneth N. Rinker, 417 W. First St., Greensburg, Indiana, and it cost three cents at the time to send through the mail.  There is no return address on the front or back of the envelope.  The envelope was sealed when I acquired it.  I opened it only to find a blank sheet of white paper….

I thought I might find mention of the “Costello” artist in Franklin Rosement’s “A Short Treatise on Wobbly Cartoons” in the newer 1988 edition of Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology by Joyce L. Kornbluh.  I also checked “Wobbly” – 80 Years of Rebel Art, a catalogue that accompanied an exhibition at the Labor Archives and Research Center in San Francisco in 1987.  No luck.  I learned about many other I.W.W. artists, though, and discovered a few other sources to check later, including “The Iconographics of American Labor,” a chapter in From the Knights of Labor to the New World Order: Essays on Labor and Culture by Paul Buhle, and Images of American Radicalism by Paul Buhle and Edmund Sullivan.  (As a side note, in the late 1960s Paul Buhle founded the S.D.S. journal Radical America, which features a story about the I.W.W. in Volume 1, Number 2, and even mentions stickerettes!  I have a theory that S.D.S. stickers were inspired by stickerettes, which I plan to write about in the near future….  I need to connect the dots, and Franklin Rosemont and Paul Buhle are two key figures with interests in both the I.W.W. and S.D.S.)

Anyway, back to the mysterious envelope.  The little NRA sticker on the lower right states “NRA Member – U.S. – We Do Our Part” and shows a blue eagle clutching a gear, symbolizing industry, and lightning, symbolizing power.  You can read more about the NRA blue eagle logo here.

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I have other NRA stickers in the Street Art Graphics digital archive, but they aren’t from the National Rifle Association.  The early NRA stickers, which Arline Wolfe catalogued last year, were, as she wrote, “from the National Recovery Administration, a U.S. government agency established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to stimulate business recovery through fair-practice codes during the Great Depression.  The NRA was an essential element in the National Industrial Recovery Act (June 1933), which authorized the President to institute industry-wide codes intended to eliminate unfair trade practices, reduce unemployment, establish minimum wages and maximum hours, and guarantee the right of labour to bargain collectively, according to www.britannica.com.”  The Social Welfare History Project Web site also describes the NRA here.

Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid stickers

Two stickers in my collection focus on Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid in South Africa.  The first states “Stop Apartheid, Boycott Shell – Owen Bieber, UAW President and National CAP Chairman,” and the date 1985 is penciled on the back.

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Owen Bieber was then President of the American United Auto Workers Union and a strong Mandela supporter.  In 1984, Bieber was even arrested in an anti-apartheid demonstration in DC.  An article entitled “Campaign to Boycott Shell” in the United States Anti-Apartheid Newsletter (Vol. 1, No. 3, Spring 1986) describes Bieber’s role in the campaign and the call for “Shell and other companies doing business in South Africa to stop ‘buttressing’ apartheid.  The major objective of the campaign is to educate the American people on the role of multi-national corporations in a country which has statutes allowing them to seize oil and computer companies on the basis of security and war needs.”  (Sound familiar?)  After Mandela was released from prison, he traveled in 1990 to the United States and during one stop met with UAW members at a rally in Dearborn, Michigan, with Bieber at his side.

The second sticker, “Nelson Mandela Must Be Set Free!!!,” was produced in 1988 by The Pyramid Complex, PO Box 21212, Washington, D.C., with a phone number listed as (202) 332-3908.  At the time, the anti-apartheid leader Mandela would have been in jail for 26 years after having been arrested in 1962 and charged with treason for attempting to overthrow the South African government.

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The International Institute of Social History has another sticker from The Pyramid Complex that states “Free South Africa Now!” with the same address and phone number, though dated 1989.  It’s housed at the Nederlands Instituut voor Zuidelijk Afrika in Amsterdam.  The catalogue record for it is here, and a low-res screen shot of the sticker is below.

Free South Africa Now

The IISH put together a Web dossier memorial tribute called Nelson Mandela and the Netherlands, where you can find several stickers.  In addition, the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (where Mandela studied law) has an online collection called KAIROS, Dutch anti-apartheid organization 1970s-1990s, which includes stickers from The Pyramid Complex.  There are no pictures, but the collection is described as:

  • Details: Stickers.  Stickers with various slogans in English and Dutch: ANC, Anti Apartheid, Anti Shell, Trade Union slogans, Solidarity with SWAPO.  The sources and dates are not known, except for a few of the stickers [that] have The Pyramid Complex, Washington DC, 1989 printed on them.

The only other reference I can find for The Pyramid Complex is a book they published by W. Bruce Willis called The Adinkra Dictionary: A Visual Primer on the Language of Adinkra (1998).

The IISH mentioned above is an online database/archive that actually includes stickers.  In fact, when I do a search for stickers in their catalogue, I get over 4,200 results!  Based on my initial review, the stickers come from Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Namibia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  Some date back to the 1920s and ‘30s, but most appear to be from the 1970s to 1990s.  There is even a handful of I.W.W. stickerettes!

Vote Republican 1926 sticker

I recently came across a U.S. political sticker from Iowa in 1926 that is one of the first of its kind, from what I’ve seen, that isn’t an I.W.W. Wobbly labor union stickerette (see previous posts on I.W.W. stickerettes).  What’s interesting, however, is how Ralph Chaplin, a 1910s-era I.W.W. key artist/agitator, talked about printed labels on various fruit and vegetable cartons that helped inspire him to create political stickers.  I’ll dig up those references for a later post.

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Three new “stickerettes”

Three new Industrial Workers of the World “stickerettes” for the Street Art Graphics digital archive!

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The text reads, “I.W.W. — For More of the Good Things in Life — Organize — One Big Union”

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This one reads, “Join the I.W.W. — We Know He Won’t Join — But How About You?”

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And this one reads, “One Big Union — The Key to Industrial Peace — OBU — Join the I.W.W.”

(I add the text here in case people are doing keyword searches.)  For more on “stickerettes,” see my previous posts:

I.W.W. “stickerettes”

“Stickerettes at NYU’s Tamiment Library

More on I.W.W. “stickerettes”

“Stickerette” ad in 1917 I.W.W. Solidarity newspaper

Two new “stickerettes”


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