Celebrate People's History - the poster book of resistance and revolution

Issue section: 
(355)

The Feminist Press, $24.95


EZLN, Tierra y Libertad, Kate Luscher

This book collects the posters produced by the Celebrate People's History project over a period of 12 years. Although the project's director, Josh MacPhee, is a Chicago-based anarchist, he has commissioned them from a wide variety of artists engaged in different campaigns around the world.

The common theme is a celebration of the resistance of the oppressed. MacPhee says he was keen to produce posters that celebrate collective fights, not just high-profile individuals.

He champions the political poster and its potential to provoke debate in a public space which is usually dominated by corporate ideology.

The quality of the posters varies enormously. The most beautiful are the woodcuts, such as Tierra y Libertad by Kate Luscher (above). It commemorates the uprising in the mid-1990s of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation in Mexico.

But most are sloppily executed and fail to overcome the tension between a striking graphic and a history lesson - they are far too wordy. Little wonder that half of them are "printed here for the first time".

While the book, at $24.95, isn't worth buying, some of the posters are. You can find many online at justseeds.org and microcosmpublishing.com