Picture This

Jan 31, 2010 by

Picture This!
Posters of social movements in Québec (1966 – 2007)
edited by Jean-Pierre Boyer, Jean Desjardins and David Widgington

February 2008
Social History: Quebec
7.5×9 inches, 360 pages (72 in colour)
$32 CDN / US
Originally published by Cumulus Press

These 659 posters, assembled for the first time in one book, offer a veritable journey through Quebec’s social history and political imagination of the past four decades. This book is the result of a collaboration between the founders of the Centre de recherche en imagerie populaire (CRIP) and David Widgington. This collection of union, political, community, feminist, sociocultural and anti-globalization posters brings to our collective memory the popular struggles that have marked the history of social movements in Quebec. It gives a voice to those who, through the strength of their commitment and creativity, have contributed to a more humane, just and democratic world. These images taken from the streets are much more than a mirror of our combined aspirations: they are an invitation to move ever forward. The posters portray demanding, accusatory, irreverent and hopeful actions and offer original — sometimes radical — proposals on how to improve the lives of our society’s downtrodden, mistreated, exploited and marginalized groups and individuals.

“From the earliest days of the mid-1960s—which [editor David] Widgington says involved mostly sovereignty-related causes and election posters for the Rassemblement pour l’indépendence nationale, the precursor to the PQ—to today—with anarchist anti-election-period posters—the book winds its way through the province’s vibrant and energetic stream of politicized mobilization. Its nine chapters cover unions, elections, women, international solidarity and community groups, each with its own range of artistic merit. Some of the better [posters] were created by well known Quebec artists like two-time Academy Award-winner Frédéric Back and silk-screener Gitano. Others are more crude, but not without their own place in the book. ‘Graphically or artistically, they aren’t important, but they are important because of what they say,’ says  Widgington. According to him, the posters represent the democratization of public space. ‘They’re demonstrations of public expression, which we see so little of because public space has been co-opted by corporate media.’” — Mirror

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