Today, we announced the winning design in an ACLU poster contest. After the 2008 election, we asked artists to review our transition plan for the incoming Obama administration and come up with a design that depicts our vision of this country's transformation into a country committed to fixing unconstitutional policies, holding its leaders accountable and reclaiming American values. (Call us optimists.)
New York-based designer Christopher King’s submission is the winner of the “Restore America” poster contest, and his artwork will be featured as part of our national campaign to draw attention to the indefinite detention of detainees without charge or trial.
We asked Christopher a few questions about his design and his interest in our work. Here is what he had to say:
ACLU: Did you know much about the ACLU’s work before you entered the poster contest?
C.K.: I've always felt the ACLU plays an important role in our society by giving a voice to those who might not otherwise be heard and holding the government to account for the rights and freedoms promised in our Constitution. When I heard about the call to help raise awareness for this issue it only felt natural to contribute.
ACLU: What motivated you to participate in the poster contest?
C.K.: The issues of prisoners' rights and the prevention of abuse resonate strongly with me. I'm not sure I've ever been so disgusted as when I first heard the news coming from Guantánamo that prisoners were being held indefinitely, abused and tortured without charge or access to fair trials. Because it happens far away, to people we can't see or learn much about, it's an issue that can be easy to ignore. As a graphic designer, I saw an opportunity to depict and raise awareness about the extreme injustices being committed.
ACLU: What do you think about the role of art in activism?
C.K.: Art can play an enormous role in social change. Just think of the "HOPE" poster Shepard Fairey created for the Obama campaign in 2008. That image became a symbol not just for a man or a political platform but for all those around the world who hope for a better future.
Christopher’s winning design and a showcase of the top entries can be viewed online here.
To see more of Christopher’s work, check out his website.