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istrike / mayday

what: poster series

where: berlin

when: 2008

this series of 7 posters (3+3+1) is raises the question of how to strike or pause in our working conditions – in a situation of precarity. how can we go on strike besides getting sick, drinking all night or just burning out? we felt that it was not enough to just share the drama of daily life work stress with our friends or partners in private settings. we wanted to put these questions into the streets, to inscribe them into the public discourses. stress, burnout, job related illness… these are not private issues. the political picket sign is superimposed on background images of daily life, both public (the subway) and private (the bedroom,) playing on the contradiction between of the picket sign (classical demonstration and expression of demands) and daily life (bed, street, transportation.) this is played against by the absurdity of the poster with an empty picket sign. the empty sign opens up the possibility of writing one’s own claims, questions, and anger… but also puts forth the idea that politics is not a “ready made product” but a participatory process. the 3 words below try to raise more questions about the contradictions of living in a market culture. for instance, the question about “solidarity:” how does this work together with career and competition? even though both happen all the time?

more on our mayday posters by john emerson