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Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Best Posters, 2017

I was encouraged to begin the 2017 version of "the year's best posters" by a remark made by Larry David, the creator of the popular television comedy series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."  Asked about the show going into still another season--its 10th--David responded: "When one has the opportunity to annoy someone, one should do so."

So I'll get to it--annoying someone, that is.  Here's the first poster of this year's bunch.  It's included not for any aesthetic reason, but because it was the most widely disseminated poster of the year.  Ubiquitous and unavoidable.  Note the use of English. Intimissimi is one of the largest Italian lingerie chains.

I hope I haven't lost all my female audience, because the annoying part is pretty much over.  Actually, I'm a moderately sensitive guy on gender issues (yes, it was required).  To prove it, here's a poster from Ostiense (probably November 2016):
Call for meeting at Forte Prenestino, an avant-garde leftist space.  Solidarity.
The second line is famous:  "If I can't dance it's not my revolution."
The following poster, too, uses the words/slogan/manifesto "Non una di meno" (literally "not one less," though perhaps better translated "no one (female) left behind").  It calls for a struggle (lotto) and a global strike by women ("if our lives are not valued, we strike"). 

I also have a sense of humor. I found this one in the Re di Roma area, walking around while Dianne was getting her hair done.

The next one's a mystery.  Found in Trastevere, it seems to advertise an art fair--or more likely takes issue with the "art market."  It presents artists as mere money grubbers with silly ideas (the cover of the book seems to identify the work of street artists with sandwiches: "nuove figurini panini"). Wish I could blow it up just a bit more. 

In any given year, most of the posters are political, and 2017 was no exception.  I was intrigued by this poster, featuring Martin Luther King, Jr., on a corner in the ethnically mixed neighborhood of Torpignattara. 

The same community yielded the rather dramatic poster below.  It identifies a number of issues--unemployment, "cementification" (paving over paradise), and the distribution of wealth--that make the quartieri invivibili "unlivable."  The line in black reads:  "He who does not revolt remains a slave (male or female)."

Whether leftist or rightist or beyond politics, some made the list because they're colorful or pretty.
Of the three posters immediately below, the first two are products of the radical right.  The third advertises the annual flower festival in Genzano di Roma, in the Colli Albani (a wonderful event). For an explanation of the torch poster, we recommend Paul Baxa's history of Acca Laurenzia. 

There's still some interest in Communism.  Don't miss the new biography of Lenin!  Not such a nice guy, we hear. 
"Power to those who work and those who are unemployed.  All power to the proletariat."
The next one's another mystery.  I looked up "Etere" on the internet but was unable to make much progress.  I originally translated it "to be or not to be," but it's not clear that Etere (one meaning is "ether") means "to be," even in Latin.  Help me out here.
At the intersection of Via Po and Viale Regina Margherita
Opposition to the European Union, here depicted as the chains of servitude, has been a  major poster theme for years. 

For some previous editions, see:


Matthew Borenstein said...

"LOTTO" is actually l'otto - March 8th - and, struggle, of course, is lotta, & lotto is land/ building lot. Oh dear what a lot ! I really find your posts original and informative buon lavoro. Matthew Borenstein NYC

Dianne Bennett and William Graebner said...

Matthew - apologies that it took us so long to 'publish' your informative comment. It was full of gibberish in the email we received, but we finally decided to try to publish it, and it came out fine! Thanks again, and we welcome comments. Dianne and Bill