State Library of Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 84 December 2009

48

Olga Tsara
Agitation Propaganda Posters in the State Library of Victoria:
production, perception, preservation

What Happens to street art when it's removed from the street and put into an archive? Does it lose its meaning, its essence? Is street art too ephemeral for the archivist, who, like some butterfly collector of an earlier age, must first kill his specimen – strip it of its life-force – in order to display it for posterity under glass-panelled cabinets? Yes, there is some of this. When we take a political poster designed for the street and keep it in an archive, it loses its role as the voice of the counter or alternative culture, as agitprop1. But does the act of institutionalizing street art automatically strip it of all its political impact? The political poster is now a document of the past, not a tool to effect change for the future.
In recent years there has been a surge of activity amongst artists producing street art. A challenge for any gallery, library or museum trying to collect street art is to try and somehow preserve its meaning as well, because once it's removed from its environment its meaning cannot help but change or even be lost. Not all street art is political in content or sentiment, but by definition, street art in situ is political; it's a political act to defy the law and post messages on walls illegally. It's also a political act for artists to by-pass the traditional gallery system and show their work on the streets on their own terms. The messages are not necessarily political, just the act of posting. Indeed the messages are sometimes as inane and personal as ‘I'm here’ or the visual equivalent. This public emoting says little to us about the conditions of our society, and probably is not worth preserving except as a way of recording the phenomenon of illegal posting itself.
Given that the political meaning of some street art is inextricably linked to the fact that it's on the street, when it's removed from the street, its natural habitat, it loses its political punch altogether. Take for example work by Banksy, the anonymous British stencil artist. On the street it was cheeky, titillatingly illegal graffiti. In London's galleries, it sells for hundreds of thousands of pounds.2 It is stencil art without the subversion – as politically interesting and relevant as a celebrity portrait by Andy Warhol. (Indeed, Banksy has created a portrait of the fashion model Kate Moss in the style of Warhol's Marilyn Monroe).3 I want to argue that three elements go towards defining political street art (as distinct from any and all street art). They are: first, the political message or content, second, the medium itself – the choice of an ephemeral medium to voice an alternative view is a political act – and third, the fact that it's on the street. I also want to
49

Viva Gibb, Uranium Shares Boom (1982), silkscreen print, H98.162/25.

50
argue that it's worth preserving political street art because while it may lose some of its meaning by being taken off the street, the other two factors render it comprehendible to future observers.
Political posters are created in response to particular events or to a set of social conditions, and are posted on the streets, university campuses or industrial sites, in an attempt to persuade the spectator to act, or think in some way. They can be highly designed and expensive productions, like those produced for the election campaigns of major political parties, or they can be artistic, limited edition prints created with much thought, philosophising and printing ingenuity by artists working individually or in collectives.4 Some political posters are tools of agitation – agitation propaganda – and are created as ‘direct action’ responses to current events. These tend to be rougher in presentation, conceived and executed in just one or two days, and pasted up by the artists themselves. What they may lack in technical finesse, they make up for by their force, passion and tenacity. It is this later variety that I will now trace the history of, using examples of ‘direct action’ political posters in the State Library's collections, and examine how their impact has survived over the years. I will also look at some current works and discuss how their meaning and medium may endure into the future.

Paris 1968: the Atelier Populaire

Firstly I want to discuss a book about posters. The State Library of Victoria does not have any posters by the Atelier Populaire, but is fortunate to have a copy of the now quite rare, Posters from the revolution, Paris, May, 1968: texts and posters, a volume of contemporaneous reproductions of posters by the Atelier Populaire that were produced in Paris by students of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts during the 1968 general strike.5 In May 1968 millions of workers and students went on strike in Paris. Tensions had been brewing in France from the beginning of that year with university students protesting against the Vietnam War and economic conditions. They demanded freedom of speech and movement, and education reforms. Protests led to arrests and violence, which led to riots and labour strikes, which in turn led to injuries and convictions. The Government closed the universities, and hundreds of thousands of students and workers created barricades on closed campuses and factories. Police brutality was prevalent, with barricades attacked, and by 20 May an estimated ten million workers were on strike in France, crippling the economy.6
This is the climate in which these posters were produced by the Atelier Populaire. The collective met in occupied university sites to decide which posters they would produce on any given day. They decided which events they would respond to, and which slogans and graphics they would use. Once decided, the posters were produced, usually by silkscreen printing, and then distributed to be pasted up overnight on the streets and in factories. Produced as tools of direct action, the posters functioned as counter-
51

Atelier Populaire, Renault Flins; poster no. 50; produced June 1968 for workers occupying their factories, (reproduced in Posters from the Revolution, p. 36).

propaganda, contesting hostile reports designed to discredit the students and the trade unions in the government-run media. In 1969 the Atelier Populaire produced an account of the events of 1968, and its role in them, in the form of a book. The Collective recounts events, categorically commits its philosophies to paper, and describes its methods of designing, producing and disseminating its posters. The volume includes large reproductions of 96 posters from the time, and thumbnails of each with dates of production, historical explanations and context.7 The Collective has done the historian a great favour here and has left no room for error for a researcher or collector. But the volume also comes with the following preface:
To the reader:
The posters produced by the Atelier Populaire are weapons in the service of the struggle and are an inseparable part of it.
Their rightful place is in the centres of conflict, that is to say, in the streets and on the walls of the factories. To use them for decorative purposes, to display them in bourgeois places of culture or to consider them as objects of aesthetic interest is to impair both their function and their effect. This is why the Atelier Populaire has always refused to put them on sale.
Even to keep them as historical evidence of a certain stage in the struggle is a betrayal, for the struggle itself is of such primary importance that the position of an “outside” observer is a fiction which inevitably plays into the hands of the ruling class.
That is why these works should not be taken as the final outcome of an experience, but as an inducement for finding, through contact with the masses, new levels of action, both on the cultural and the political plane.8
What are we to make of this extraordinary statement? The authors warn us not to keep these posters and display them in any context other than the original. Yet they themselves have reproduced them in a book for galleries, libraries and private collectors to have. Their actions seem confusing and apparently contradictory. Is keeping political art an act of betrayal against truth? It's an intriguing question beyond the scope of this essay. What can be said is that the work of the Atelier Populaire has been very influential for future poster makers, especially those with strong political convictions. Symbols and designs popularised during this time, like the raised fist,9 and the dominating slogan (making the message absolutely unambiguous), have been used heavily by political
52

Atelier Populaire, People's University Yes; poster no. 128; produced in June 1968 for the action committee of Education Nationale, (reproduced in Posters from the Revolution, p. 52).

53

Viva Gibb, Fraser slashes Aboriginal health service, (1978–1982) silkscreen print, H98.162/22.

Russell Kerr, Not in my name (2005), silkscreen print, H2006.53/2.

Deborah Kelly, Nuclear power will solve global warming and feed all the world's children (2007), offset print, H2009.37/1.

Russell Kerr, Force is a weapon of the weak (2005), silkscreen print, H2006.53/4.

54
poster makers around the world. The Atelier Populaire published a book to present their experiences, rationale, motives, as well as photographs of their posters in situ. In many ways what they did in this publication is similar to what artists are doing today using the internet.

Melbourne 1970s – 1980s: Viva Gibb

The first Australia artist I wish to focus on is Viva Gibb. Her ‘street series’10 of posters was created in the mid 1970s-mid 1980s. Gibb, a Melbourne based artist, photographer, writer and poster maker, created this series of posters over a number of years in direct response to events in the news that angered and distressed her. She wanted to both comment on the news issues in question and present an alternative view on how news items can be reported and interpreted. Like the Atelier Populaire in Paris she was creating counter-propaganda; hers was an alternative voice. This is Gibb's description of the Australia of the time:
Those were very conservative days and there was a groundswell of artists, writers and in all areas of the arts that were wanting a change in Government's racist, sexist and speciesist attitudes of a very complacent society. This was the background in which I did my work which included photography, painting, printmaking and writing.
The posters were designed, printed and pasted up on the streets by the artist herself. They are rough in their printing and presentation which adds urgency to their look and their message. To quote Gibb again:
The technique I used … most was … painting on water based filler which gave a positive image which I could do very quickly, then print them by myself in a little studio … and then paste them all up at night by myself again. The whole thing taking about two days. This would, I hoped, connect the newspaper articles to the poster where people (I hoped) would see an alternative view.…The technique was immediate so I had problems with the writing. It was sometimes hard to read as I couldn't get the hard edge I could have with using the correct technique however it works mostly.11
By far the most enduring of Gibb's posters in this series are ones which champion animal rights, like Alice in Wonderland (1982), This Little Piggy Went to Market (1982), Why? Man's monstrous crime. Vivisection (c. 1980), and Birds in Paradise, (c. 1985). One does not need to know what news stories or headlines Gibb was responding to in order to understand and be moved by these images and messages. Just as powerful and enduring are the anti-nuclear power and anti-uranium mining posters in this series. Examples like Uranium Shares Boom (1982), and Saving the Last Dance for You (c. 1978-c. 1982) still speak to us and need no explanation or contextualization.12
Gibb remains positive about the impact of the posters at the time. Amongst her favourites, she mentions Pensioners: the final solution (1978), Popondetta 1943, Diggers
55
Hanged 34 Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels, and Lest we Forget (1978).13 The former was based on the real hospital room in which her father was dying, and with the poster she comments on the inadequacies of the public health system. Popondetta 1943… illustrates an incident from World War II in New Guinea where the commander of the Australian forces in New Guinea, Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Herring14 endorsed the public execution by hanging of 34 natives (Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels) convicted of treason. The incident was covered up for decades and Herring defended his actions when it was exposed. Gibb felt so strongly about the injustice and horror of this, that she not only created a poster, she actually pasted a copy of it outside Herring's home.15
Viva Gibb's posters were directly influenced by the posters of the Atelier Populaire. She had been exploring ways to express herself using image and word when she was exposed to the Paris posters. Her poster CIA Assassin (1974)16 is a direct quotation of the Atelier Populaire's Frey(1968).17 To quote Gibb on the CIA poster:
This image, itself influenced by film noir, epitomized the shadowy world of the CIA and used a skull face of death to convey the message of its insidious movements in third world countries. I loved the way the 68 posters portrayed the image of evil as an all encompassing massive shape of male dominance oozing out of the confinement of the four sides of the page. This is what influenced me most.

Melbourne here and now: the role of the poster in the new century

Much has been written about Melbourne's graffiti and stencil art scene, but pertinent to this discussion are the ‘direct action’ political posters produced here and now by local artists and activists. This activity is evident on the internet with websites like Australian Disruptive,18 alternative printing workshops like Breakdown Press19 (to be discussed later), and in the work of individuals like Melbourne artist Russell Kerr.
Kerr describes himself as an “Artworker, Activist and Educator with a strong belief in the cultural significance of street art and community message delivery”.20 He uses a number of platforms to convey his political message, and these include posting his own silk screened posters on the streets of Melbourne, a professional website,21 issue-specific websites (initiated by him),22 a blog, posting photographs documenting his political activity on the image sharing internet platform Flicker, and contributing to collective platforms like Australian Disruptive and Breakdown Press.
He provides a rationale for his work on his website, including a full text copy of his Masters thesis, where he argues that political campaigns run by groups with no access to mainstream media must utilize all avenues of communication in order to reach as wide an audience as possible so their campaigns can ultimately succeed. He discusses the limitations of relying purely on posters or other street art to voice dissention, and offers a ‘package’ for young people today wanting to agitate. This package includes using YouTube, Flickr, SMS, as well as posters and flyers.23
56
The State Library holds a set of five posters from the End of Print series by Kerr24 as well as some of his posters in series produced by Breakdown Press. While not as rough and urgent in appearance as Gibb's, these posters can be described as direct-action works. The artist is responding to political issues, as an individual, not as a member of a collective or as a participant of a counter-propaganda campaign. The posters comment on diverse issues like the Iraq War, free trade, animal conservation and Australia's Refugee Policy and offer an alternative view to those expressed in the mainstream media at the time. Produced in 2005, their impetus was the domestic and international policies of the Liberal Government of John Howard. The posters include the web address in their design, essentially inviting the viewer to visit this website.25 Once done, Kerr was able to glean information about who was viewing and actively responding to his posters. His posters – reminiscent and derivative of poster designers before him – were created to prompt action (take on a political cause) as well as reaction (visit a website). He re-packages his work on his blog, and presents his poster making and poster billing as a story. We get to see documentation of the ‘direct action’ artist in action. Streetscapes showing vast walls covered in political posters are very powerful and engaging images, but are they works of graphic agitation themselves? Possibly yes. They happen to be in another medium, that is, on-line, but as works in themselves, these images of posters in situ tell a powerful story about voicing dissent – and in this way marry traditional message making with the digital world.
Five years on, most of these posters still speak to us: the Iraq War goes on, whaling is back in the news, recent G20 protests in London26 re-engage us with issues of free-trade and economic imperialism. But it's not clear how resilient these posters will be when these issues are not in the news anymore.

Breakdown Press: ‘celebrating creative dissent’27

An example of an organisation (rather than individuals, like Gibb and Kerr) producing direct action posters is Breakdown Press of Melbourne. The State Library has recently acquired a complete set of posters produced by Breakdown Press. Their rationale appears on their website:
We at Breakdown Press aim to produce publications that explore creative, personal and political responses to our times. Experimenting in print, and all forms of mass reproducing technologies, Breakdown Press hopes to document artists and writers from across Australia. Based in Melbourne with a diverse background in the zine, poster art, poetry, street art and activist communities, we hope to publish work from individuals and collectives that have had little exposure, or aren't interested, in the mainstream media and publishing arena.
To date they have produced three series of posters. The first, the Stolen Wealth Poster Series was published in March 2006 and timed to coincide with the Indigenous
57
Convergence and Gathering of Supporters during the Stolenwealth Games in Melbourne, 15 – 26 March of that year. It consists of 21 tabloid posters printed on newsprint, by various artists and writers on the issues of “Genocide, Sovereignty, and Treaty,” affecting Australian aborigines.
The second series, The Breakdown Posters, is made up of 19 designs published in November 2006 to coincide with the G20 Summit and the Carnival Against Capitalism protests in Melbourne, 19 November 2006. Artists like Marc Martin28 and Stephen Walker29 voice their views on issues like consumerism and the negative effects of globalism. Also printed on newsprint, the series comes with instructions and suggestions on how to use the posters. One suggestion is to cut them out (there are at least two designs printed per page) and paste them on walls. Another is to paste them on a placard to carry at the protest. The publishers have uploaded onto their website photographs of the posters being pasted on walls (showing that it's not just what the poster says that's political, it's the act of posting as well), and carried at the protest.
The third series is The Nuclear Posters. They are described by the publishers as:
17 posters that speak different. … Published at a time when the Howard-led Liberal Government is taking Australia down the nuclear path with the pedal to the metal in the lead-up to the 2007 Federal Election. The Nuclear Posters brings together the work of committed artists and campaigners to spark debate about the role of the nuclear cycle in Australia.
Artists like Arlene TextaQueen, Deborah Kelly and Mathew Kneebone,30 amongst others, comment on the dangers of nuclear power with wit, irreverence and vibrant colour, reminiscent of the poster designs of the 1970s through to the 1990s by the Earthworks, Another Planet and RedPlanet poster collectives.
While the first two series of posters were designed to be carried in protests, at particular events, this third series was created for broader consumption; designed to last longer in message and medium. The posters are printed on quality paper, on one side only (unlike the other two series, which are double-sided) and are obviously a slicker production. They thus appear to be less ephemeral; more designed to last. As such they resemble art prints rather than the direct action, rough and ready posters of their two previous series.
The publishers are very aware of their place in the continuum of poster making. They state two aims in producing these works: ‘We hope the posters chosen for this publication will build on the history of the political poster movement and act as an oppositional force to this vicious nuclear cycle’.31 They are producing posters to take their place in the history of poster-making as well as to sway public opinion about nuclear power. And why not? They are artists working in a world already imbued in post-modernism; self-referencing and self-consciousness is natural and expected. Further, I would argue that producing a poster is about poster-making as well as about
58
the issues addressed in the poster. It's about being heard, having a voice, access to media and message-making. The medium one chooses to voice one's view can be as political as the view itself.
The Nuclear series of posters was launched at the Artery, a commercial art gallery and bar in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, on 13 November 2007. To quote the publishers again:
The Artery gallery was also a great connection for us to make as political poster makers as they have a history of exhibiting political posters and work with poster collectors and collectives. Being a commercial gallery and bar meant that the exhibition was accessible and the artists involved were given the opportunity to exhibit in a recognised gallery.32
These posters are powerful and accomplished, and don't necessarily need to be viewed on the street for their full meaning to emerge. Clearly Breakdown Press believe that exhibiting in a gallery is a positive thing. Not so the case with non-political street art. Recently the National Gallery of Australia acquired 300 works of stencil art by 30 Melbourne graffiti artists. The collection was put together by art dealer Andrew MacDonald to capture and preserve Melbourne's street art between the 1990s and 2004 when the Melbourne City Council undertook a graffiti clean-up. While some of the artists see this as a validation and acceptance of their work, MacDonald was keen to stress that the street artists don't look for validation from galleries.33 A statement like this can be interpreted as an attempt to keep the works in question politically charged; perhaps the dealer is keen to preserve the ‘bad boy/girl’ image of these artists, and not strip their work of any political meaning they may have had on the street, thus rendering them less desirable.

Conclusion: collecting without fear or favour

Libraries, archives and museums preserve political posters for future generations, as the valid historical documents that they are. Art galleries keep a selection of them for their artistic merit. Whatever the reason for collecting, work is done to record all available and relevant information about the poster's provenance, so that its full meaning can be understood by future researchers. But has the meaning of the posters discussed changed because they're at the State Library of Victoria? We now know at least one extra thing about these works that we did not know when they were on the street, and that is now they have been rendered important enough to keep for future generations. But the collecting of political art can be quite random. We rely on serendipity in finding and acquiring these ephemeral works. I am reminded of Belfast's Linen Hall Library whose noble mission is to display ‘no fear or favour’ when collecting political ephemera from both sides of the political spectrum.34 Our challenge is to gather examples of all voices, those of dissent and those of the mainstream, when it comes to collecting documentary material which will tell the history of our times.
59
Two other factors which alter the meaning of a political poster once it's in an archive are the element of surprise and its scale. On the street, we come upon posters inadvertently. The unexpectedness of the unsolicited message is a powerful tool in the art of political persuasion. In an archive, we view posters because we search for them. And what of scale? How can a digital image, created by the collecting institution to preserve its collections and make them more readily available, stand up against the impact a large poster or billboard might have? Is the impact of a poster diminished when it's viewed on a small computer screen? At least one theorist does not think so. Susan Tschabrun writes:
… political posters are a class of high-interest objects that display well on a computer screen. Unlike some other oversized objects (maps, charts etc.), political posters were designed for quick viewing at a distance, not close study. Their bold, often simple designs usually translate well in the digital medium, and they can be enjoyed as thumbnails and in other small sizes.35
Street posters are usually quite sparse and simple in design so they can be viewed and comprehended quickly. This makes them comprehendible and powerful even when reproduced the size of a postage stamp. Usually the graphics are bold, slogans large and ‘irrelevant’ information is left out. It is not uncommon, for example, for posters advertising a particular rally, protest, meeting or fund raising event, to include a time of day, day and month but no year. To print the year is unnecessary given that the point of the poster is to rally up attendance to a contemporaneous event; but it's crucial to an historian viewing the document (poster) many years later.
What the examples of political art discussed here show, is how various groups and individuals from different generations have had a need to have their voices of dissent heard – especially in politically conservative times – and how they have risen to the challenge of meeting those needs in a very direct, ‘hands-on’ manner. Russell Kerr discusses the mainstream media's reporting of youth violence at the protests of the 2006 Melbourne G20 Summit. He argues that the reports were biased and sensationalised, and is able to report – as an eye witness – that, in fact, the violence was minimal. He goes on to describe how many protesters present, including himself, recorded their versions of events on their camera-phones, and were able to post them on Flickr, providing their own counter propaganda.36 In 1968 students in Paris used posters and leaflets. The 1970s and 1980s saw a revival of the poster as a tool of direct action and counter propaganda, as the work of Viva Gibb demonstrates. Today, the poster is enjoying a new popularity, but the messages of the artists producing posters gain power and greater impact by being interwoven with complementary ‘applications’ on the internet and other electronic media message applications. These are the tools available today to artists producing agitprop.

1

Agitprop is the abbreviation for ‘agitation propaganda’ originally coined in the Soviet Russia of the early 20th century, and now meaning leftist, politicised art created to effect political change.

2

Gabriella Coslovich, ‘Laughing all the way to the Banksy’, Age, 13 November 2008: http://www.thevine.com.au/news/articles/laughing-all-the-way-to-the-banksy.aspx (Viewed 14 January 2009).

3

ABC News ‘Banksy's work snapped up at street art auction’, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/06/2155474.htm (Viewed 14 January 2009).

4

While working at RedPlanet, Carol Porter, for example, would use more than 20 colours in her posters, requiring enormous amounts of time and effort to produce her limited edition screen prints. Examples of her work can be viewed on the web via the State Library of Victoria's catalogue.

5

Liz McQuiston, Graphic Agitation: social and political graphics since the sixties, London: Phaidon, 1993, pp. 54–55.

6

Ric's Metrople Paris: a chronology of ‘May ‘68’, http://www.metropoleparis.com/1998/318/chron318.html Source: Le Monde – Dossiers & Documents, number 264, (viewed 1 Sept 2008).

7

Atelier Populaire (1969). Originally published as, Atelier populaire présenté par lui-meme, 87 affiches de mai-juin 1968, Paris, Usines, Universités, Union, 1968. The State Library of Victoria's copy was purchased in 1970 (AEF 759.4 T2).

8

Atelier Populaire, (1969), preface.

9

Lincoln Cushing, ‘A brief history of the “clenched fist” image’, http://www.docspopuli.org/articles/Fist.html, (viewed 12 January 2008).

10

Term applied by the author, not artist.

11

All quotations form correspondence with Viva Gibb, 14 September 2008.

12

Alice in Wonderland, (1982), silkscreen printed in red on yellow paper, H98.162/30. Showing rows of rabbits in a laboratory hooked up to electric wires while a white-coated man moves between the laboratory benches; This little piggy went to market …, (1982), silkscreen printed in black and red on pink paper, H98.162/29. Showing pigs in cages being fed with antibiotics and contaminated animal products; Why? Man's monstrous crime. Vivisection, (ca. 1980-ca. 1982), silkscreen printed in brown on white japanese paper, H98.162/28. Shows an image of a monkey in a small cage; Birds in paradise, (ca. 1985), silkscreen on white paper, H2003.90/598. Comments on the cruelty of battery chicken farming. Uranium Shares Boom (1982), silkscreen printed in brown and black on silver paper, H98.162/25. Image is a huge mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion; and Saving the last dance for you (ca. 1978-ca. 1982), silkscreen printed in purple on pink paper, H98.162/23. Shows two skeletons dancing on top of the world. It refers to the U.S. President Ronald Reagan's Star Wars policy.

13

Pensioners: the final solution (1978), silkscreen printed in black on green paper, H98.162/19; Popondetta 1943. Diggers hanged 34 fuzzy wuzzy angels. Lest we forget (1978), silkscreen printed in yellow and black on white paper, H98.162/17, text includes a quote from Sir Edmund Herring: ‘I have a clear conscience about it. One thing you have got to realise is that natives had to realise who was in charge. They had to know the gun was loaded’.

14

For Edmund Herring (1892–1982) see ADB.

15

Correspondence with Viva Gibb, 14 September 2008.

16

Viva Gibb, C.I.A. Assassin, poster: silkscreen printed in green and black on white paper, 1974, H98.162/16, Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria.

17

Frey, Poster no. 74 reproduced in Atelier Populaire, Posters from the revolution, Paris, May, 1968; texts and posters, London: Dobson, 1969, p. 10. This poster was a tool of protest against Minister Frey, the former Minister for Home Affairs in France's Gaullist government, who is named as responsible for the anti-worker actions of the Committee for the Defense of the Republic.

18

Australian Disruptive, http://www.australiandisruptive.net (Viewed 10 January 2009); Published aims: ‘Australian Disruptive is a collective of graphic activists. Established to cultivate social change through graphic agitation, we believe that a more just society can be achieved through subversive visual strategies’.

19

Breakdown Press, http://www.breakdownpress.org (Viewed 10 January 2009).

20

Russell Kerr, http://www.transferpress.com.au/writing/graffitti_management_plan.pdf (Viewed 4 October 2008).

21

Russell Kerr, http://www.transferpress.com.au (Viewed 4 April 2008; 10 March 2009).

22

Russell Kerr, The Whale Conservation Front. To quote the published aims: ‘The WCF's primary mission is to use creative expression to raise the profile of whale conservation internationally, specifically targeting young people who are active in the creative industries and the arts. The WCF aims to influence government policy through creative direct action focused on enforcing domestic and international laws banning commercial whaling in Australian Waters’, http://www.whaleconservationfront.org (viewed 12 March 2009); and Kerr, Russell Nike oppression, 2005. The published aims: “Nike oppression is a self initiated campaign in response to Nike's recent ‘Nike Free’ campaign launching a new running shoe. I felt the wording used in the campaign was offensive and required direct action. I created a logo, slogan, poster and website to raise awareness of the contradictions between Nike's ad campaign and Nike's human rights record”. http://www.nikeoppression.com (not able to view as at 12 March 2009).

23

Russell Kerr, A Quest for ‘Something Nicer’ Grassroots visual communication, participatory culture, student activism and youth. [Thesis] 2007, http://www.transferpress.com.au/writing/Something_Nicer_Thesis.pdf (Viewed 8 June 2008).

24

Pictures Collection, H2006.53/1-5.

25

Russell Kerr, End of Print, 2005, http://www.endofprint.org (viewed 4 April 2009; website no longer live); the project's rationale is explained elsewhere: http://www.ccd.net/projects/browse.html (viewed 4 April 2008).

26

‘Man dies amid G20 protests’ http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/04/02/2532778.htm (Viewed 10 April 2009).

27

Breakdown Press, http://www.breakdownpress.org (Viewed 12 January 2009). All information about Breakdown Press and quotations that follow come from this website unless otherwise noted.

28

Marc Martin, The more you spend, the more you profit, 2006, H2009.37/55, Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria.

29

Stephen Walker, Consume, 2006, H2009.37/50, Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria.

30

Deborah Kelly, Nuclear power will solve global warming and feed all the world's children, 2007, H2009.37/1; Mathew Kneebone, Singular mentality, 2007, H2009.37/11; Arlene TextaQueen, Nudes not nukes, 2007, H2009.37/5. All works Pictures Collection, State Library of Victoria.

31

Review and interview: http://bluekingbrown.com (viewed 17 March 2009).

32

Review/promotional piece about the posters: http://www.thejbseed.com (Viewed 17 March 2009).

33

‘Street art moves to posh new hang-out’, Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 2007, http://www.smh.com.au/news/arts/street-art-moves-to-a-posh-new-hangout/2007/04/08/1175970936237.html (Viewed 4 October 2008).

34

Catherine Morrison, ‘Between the lines’, Guardian, April 30, 2002, http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2002/apr/30/museums.highereducation (Viewed 4 May 2008).

35

Susan Tschabrun, ‘Off the wall and into a drawer: managing a research collection of political posters’, American Archivist, Vol. 66 (Fall / Winter 2003), p. 320.

36

Rusell Kerr, (2007), p.2, http://www.transferpress.com.au/writing/Something_Nicer_Thesis.pdf (Viewed 4 April 2008).