To rejuvenise and reform the passive role of graphic design in order to assist protests/ dissenting populace, by introducing commercial guerrilla graphic techniques. The design outcomes must be:
FOR MASS AGITATION
< Self Directed Brief >
The Aim :
It is important to assist dissenters and equip them with tools and resources that actively help disrupt the status quo and disorder the established order.
Research shows that within protests exists an urgent need to share information — what to do in case you are arrested at protests, emergency shelters, where to donate funds, history and background information for the movement.
The outcomes of this project were designed through the lens of the BLM movement. As of July 2020, BLM protests are gaining traction in USA, UK and other countries, offering opportunity for real time observation of problems, challenges and for collecting first-hand accounts.
BLM protesters in 2020 have been faced by problems of police brutality, excessive force, state-supported disruption of emergency services, unwarranted arrests and communities co-opting the BLM message in bid to seem woke.
Performative, armchair activism by designers and artists has also been rampant, but has had no real impact on the affected communities- including BLM graffiti, hashtags & online black square posts.
The challenge is to further the role of graphic design in assisting these dissenting voices and actively equip communities with tools that make a real difference.
Big Idea :
The outcomes designed are a series of analog+ digital subversion techniques inspired by designer Amy Suo Wuo's interpretations of the ancient subversion tool known as the Cardan Grille.
A Cardan Grille is a stegonographic technique of subversion used in Ancient China.
Traditionally, A Cardan grille is made from a sheet of fairly rigid paper and has rectangular areas cut out at arbitrary intervals between the lines of writing. This, layered onto a secondary message can highlight selected words, thus revealing a secret message.
Both components are sent through different channels for extra security, eg: one to be sent via mail and one delivered in person.
The design solution, inspired by the Cardan Grille resulted in a series of postcards to be handed out at BLM protests. The postcards are seemingly innocuous but on closer look have pre-creased holes. The postcard also holds a web address in fine print.
On visiting the website and overlaying the postcard, a cardan grille is formed revealing the subverted message, namely locations for emergency services, safe spaces to avoid arrests, reveal fake right-wing news propaganda etc.
The main goal is to equip the dissenting populace with tools that could be customised and adapted by them to be means of active dissent as per their individual needs, rather than create a one-size-fits-all performative graphic solution with no active role.