Archive for the 'The Man stickin' it Back' Category

Back to business

Gareth Dale’sPopular Protest in East Germany, 1945-1989” (Routledge, 2005) is proving to be an extremely helpful resource as I try to gain a better understanding of political protest in contemporary Germany – protest as represented in the stickers I’ve collected in Berlin and Munich since 2003.  In particular, he describes the mass uprising of June 17, 1953, that started in East Berlin and moved rapidly to over 700 cities throughout East Germany.  Half a million to a million workers protested; 1,000 workplaces were stopped.  Ultimately, by the end of the day (one day!), Soviet tanks, 20,000 Soviet soldiers, and another 8,000 GDR police quelled events and activities amidst resistance, but it is said that protests ensued in other German towns and villages during the following weeks.  The uprising was spontaneous and fast-moving, Dale writes in chapter one, though he follows in chapter two describing historical antecedents found in German labour movement traditions dating back to the 1920s.  Dense, but fascinating reading.

Routledge charges a fortune for their academic publications.  This one above runs $160 on the Routledge site, but closer to $200 on Amazon and elsewhere.  Not sure why, but the Man is certainly stickin’ it back.  I had to have my ILL copy Xeroxed to make it affordable to read/use.  Copyleft.  Sorry, Man.  Haha.  Not.

No pics tonight.  Too tired.

Protests everywhere

Research from yesterday:

February 13th and 14th mark the anniversary each year of the Dresden bombings, during which Allied forces killed an estimated 25,000 civilians by dropping incendiary bombs.  Far-right extremists have since used the occasions to gather in remembrance and march through the city with flags, banners, and torches.  In 2011, two funeral marches were scheduled within days of each other.  The first on February 13th drew 1,300 neo-Nazis, but what was remarkable were the 17,000 counter-protesters who also showed up to block the parade by creating a human chain extending two miles around the city.  The second gathering on February 19 drew some 600 neo-Nazis (fewer than the 4,000 expected) and an estimated 21,000 counter-protesters made up of an alliance of political parties, church groups, trade unions, and associations.  Five thousand police were deployed to keep the peace at each event.

I’ve searched online for stories about the Dresden protests.  Nothing in The New York Times as of today, February 19 (though plenty of suggestions for restaurants and hotels).  It’s early, though.  I’ll give them a few more days.

A set of photographs on Flickr, however, depicts violent confrontations between what look to be antifa protesters and riot police (images copyright Noktalia 2011).

Example of anti-Nazi sticker – this one from Berlin:

Ha ha.

The .png shots I take for this SK blog are too small in size and too low-res to be used in any other printed matter.  No surprise.  It’s weird, though.  I can re-save a .png shot as a .jpeg, and the file size remains the same?  I can’t remember.  In any case, I created a .png shot at 72 dpi, re-saved it as a 72 dpi .jpeg, and re-saved it again as 150 dpi and 300 dpi .jpegs.  You’re not supposed to enlarge files like this, but I’m having Shutterfly make 5 x7-inch photographs to see how they compare in printed form.  The Web site I used to make .png shots is the blog called Fighting Fire with Gasoline.

Shutterfly also offers easy POD print-on-demand publishing services for people to create personal scrap books and photo albums.  I guess they took random images from folders I’ve set up to entice me to make an album, b/c what I saw today had the status of my current order juxtaposed with a sample photo album entitled “Fuck Kapitalism.”

“Check it out.”  Ha ha.  Can’t make this stuff up.

Also can’t make up the fact that federal funding for Planned Parenthood got axed today in the House.

It’s a (Tea) Party

I’m heading to Boston today to visit sis #2 for a couple of days.  While there, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for anti-Tea Party stickers along what was then Griffin’s Wharf (now Independence Wharf at 470 Atlantic Avenue), the site of the historical Boston Tea Party.  Here is what it looks like now.

One could write a thesis on the irony of this.  Talk about taxation without representation.  Who paid for that?

On a related note, I found a great sticker in NYC last year with a picture of Sarah Palin and the phrase “Trojan Horse,” which will be scanned and posted soon.  Arianna Huffington described Palin as a “Trojan Moose Concealing Four More Years of Bush (September 8, 2008).


Do I want the right to be self governed?  Or do I want the diamond ring?  Or the girl?  Too many choices….

Wait a minute….  Who is in charge here?

Back home + time to restore some honor!!!

While there is still so much to think and write about regarding the recent trip to Berlin, I want to add this post about the upcoming Restoring Honor rally in DC this summer.  Check out the rip-off of Shepard Fairey’s rip-off design (below).  Hello, post-modernism!  Is that what you’d call this?  I can’t keep track anymore, much less tag this post….  Lately it seems that “Stickin’ it to the Man” combined with “The Man Stickin’ it Back” seems to work in a number of situations.  Not sure what that means quite yet, but it might be an unfortunate reality in this karazy mixed-up world, n’est-ce-pas?

Street art + art fair = an oxymoron

The Stroke 02 urban art fair was disappointing.  Aside from its overly commercial focus, it lacked the vibrancy we’ve seen and experienced on the streets and elsewhere.  Right from the beginning, we all asked, “Why Munich?” and later learned “that’s where the money is.”

The fair itself was situated in a four storey building next to the well groomed Englischer Garten in Munich, which alone seemed an odd and unfortunate decision.  The most interesting project was a live painting by 11 artists from Switzerland.  They had pieced together a large grid of 80 or so 16 x 20 boards, which they painted, re-painted, and painted over in a very dynamic and fluid manner.  The squares could be purchased as individual works of art, again indicative of the focus on sales.  However, the quality of this group’s work was very high, and the artists’ drawings, paintings, and stencils all worked very well together.

Aside from the Hatch Kingdom booth/room, most of the rest of displays were flat and stiff.  Objects on walls.  Way too much airbrush and cliche’d imagery.

I’ll write more later, b/c I need to go meet the students soon.

“The Man stickin’ it Back” as one of this post’s tags refers to The Money Man.

Sold Out

I’m on the e-list to receive newsletter updates from Obey Giant, which occasionally features new prints for sale from Shepard Fairey.  I swear, by the time I click on Prints, every limited edition is already sold out.  The byline on the OG Web site says “Manufactured Dissent.”  Maunfactured is right.  This Man is making a factory fortune.

When Fear Goes Graphic

Last week’s NY Times featured an article, When Fear Goes Graphic, about political posters that helped spur voters in Switzerland to pass a 2009 referendum to ban the building of minarets.  Among several examples, one poster created by the Swiss graphic designer Alexander Segert, depicted “three fluffy white sheep kicking a black sheep off the Swiss flag.  ‘For More Security’ was the accompanying slogan.”

(I have a similar image found recently on a sticker in Berlin, which I’ll post later.)

From the article:

“A(nother) poster was widely cited as having galvanized votes for the Swiss measure but was also blamed for exacerbating hostility toward immigrants and instigating a media and legal circus. ‘We make posters, the other side goes to the judge,’ is how Alexander Segert put it when we met here the other day. ‘I love it when they do that’.”

“[Segert] designed the poster in question. As manager of Goal, the public relations firm for the Swiss People’s Party, [he] has overseen various campaign posters. This one, for the referendum, used minarets rising from the Swiss flag like missiles (‘mushrooms,’ Mr. Segert demurred, implausibly). Beside the missiles a woman glowers from inside a niqab. ‘Stop’ is written below in big, black letters.”

“All these right-wing populist parties have learned to get TV and newspapers to show these posters over and over with the excuse of asking, ‘Should we allow such images?’ said Mr. Bühlmann [a political scientist in Switzerland]. ‘The aim in making the posters is to be as racist as possible, so then when critics complain, the populists can say elites don’t want ordinary people to know the truth. And the media fall for it every time’.”

It’s hard to know if such xenophobic images would fly in the US, though racist posters can be found online on a number of anti-Tea Party Web sites–all clearly aimed at President Obama (Obama as witch doctor, the Joker, etc.).  In the spirit of the NY Times article, I won’t post these on Stickerkitty, because doing so, one could argue, may in fact only perpetuate the dissemination of racist imagery.  (This reminds me of 1980s-1990s feminist protests against the depiction of women in major art museums around the world.)  The Guerrilla Girls put it nicely in this poster, however.

On a related note–Glenn Beck is one of the organizers of an upcoming rally this summer, Restoring Honor, to be held at the footsteps on the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., the site of Obama’s Presidential inauguration.  I should probably attend the rally to see what sorts of graphics can be “liberated.”

The parallels between the use of images in right-wing political propaganda can’t go unnoticed.  Xenophobic posters in Switzerland communicate fear through the depiction of the militant Other.  Racist posters here in the US communicate fear of the Other through ridicule.

Henny Penny cries, “No minarets in Switzerland.  The sky is falling.”  Henny Penny cries, “No African Americans as an American President.  The sky is falling.”

Politics as unusual

Seriously, I’ve been debating for weeks whether or not to include any of my own personal comments on Stickerkitty regarding current US politics, etc., but the recent announcement that Sarah Palin will be joining FOX News makes me sick.  Enough is enough, for crying out loud. reports that Palin “has signed a multi-year deal to offer her political commentary and analysis across all Fox News platforms, including Fox Business Channel, and Fox News Radio.”  And, if that weren’t bad enough, check out this new accoutrement:

Kitteh doesn’t want to be catty, but the packaging here blows me away.  [POOF!  I am now blown away!!!!]

On top of all this, Tom Ashbrook covered Tea Party Politics this morning on NPR’s On Point.  When he asked his two guests about TPP posters seen recently at various gatherings (posters that denounce Obama as a neo-Nazi Jew hater, for example), the one guest from “D-town” replied that most of the Tea Partyers are moderate Democrats and that TPers recently voted two “blacks” into office, yadda yadda yadda.

The question is,” Can I/we continue to look complacently at these political stickers and ephemera w/o all of this other crazy information getting in the way?”

Probably not.

Thank goodness.



Flickr Photos

December 2022