Protest Posters for Fees Must Fall Favorite 

Daniel Hewson describes the use of protest posters and the work of collective, Burning Museum, and artist, Faith47, in the Fees Must Fall movement taking place in South Africa:

"The protest poster movement is still alive and vibrant in South Africa today. The collective, Burning Museum has been creating staging interventions with black-and-white photocopied posters. After designing posters, the collective then prints them out and pastes them with starched wheat glue onto the walls of public spheres, galleries, and museum spaces. This is an incisive way of engaging with different sectors of the public, echoing a method that was embraced by protestors in South Africa in the 1970s and ’80s. The images pasted by the collective act as ghostly reminders memorializing members of communities that who were forcibly removed from their homes in District Six under the Apartheid Land Act."

"The desired notion to make statements in public spaces to provoke reaction and reflection continues now in the contemporary moment with the intense student protests that have taken places across all the campuses of South African tertiary institutions in reaction to the government’s decision to increase student fees by 6%. As a result of these large-scale protests, the government had no choice but to cancel the raise in fees for 2016, a minor victory in the youth’s plight to gain access to free education. Posters featured boldly in the protests with a strategic link to the online world through the use of the hashtag symbol, enabling students to follow proceedings effectively. The South African mural artist, Faith47 produced a poster that also went online, allowing it to be downloaded and used in support of the student protests. The poster depicts two clenched fists crossed over one another in a symbol of defiance commonly used by student protestors. Instead of posters becoming null and void, artists and activists have embraced online technology into furthering the power of posters in disseminating content."

(Hewson, November 30, 2015, http://www.contemporaryand.com/magazines/protest-art-in-south-africa-and...)

For more information about the collective Burning Museum, see: http://artthrob.co.za/2015/04/15/the-agonistic-politics-of-burning-museum/

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