See Shepard Fairey’s latest campaign poster


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These days, every political movement needs a logo, and who better to supply the hip revolutionary imagery than street artist Shepard Fairey, whose poster of Obama (‘Hope’) became a cultural phenomenon unto itself -- a Warholian meta-event that combined fashion, hipsterism and a political call to action.

Fairey has been bogged down with legal problems in recent weeks, but he’s apparently found time to lend his creativity to another cause. Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi is a human rights activist who has fought for years against the repressive regime of dictator Than Shwe. The Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist has been under house arrest for several years now, but that hasn’t stopped her from campaigning with her political party, the National League for Democracy. In the last election, her party won a majority of seats in the Myanmar parliament but the ruling party has refused to let the winners take their seats.


The new poster of Suu Kyi was created by Fairey in cooperation with the Human Rights Action Center and the U.S. Campaign for Burma. (The two organizations are planning to stage a concert in Los Angeles in late fall to raise awareness for her democracy movement.) The colorful image depicts a smiling Suu Kyi wearing a dove design and features a sunburst emanating from behind her. The top of the poster reads ‘Freedom to Lead’ in large letters, while at the bottom reads ‘Support Human Rights’ and ‘Democracy in Burma.’

While the Obama poster became a ubiquitous symbol -- featured on T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and of course, the Internet -- the new poster will have a tougher time reaching its audience thanks to the totalitarian practices of the Myanmar government. It’s tough to say how Fairey’s artwork will get past the censors, though as in other authoritarian regimes, the Internet and wireless communications have proven to be a consistent lifeline of communication with the outside. (Speaking of which, Culture Monster wonders if Fairey is working on a poster for slain Iranian protestor Neda Agha-Soltan.)

Click through for a first look at Fairey’s new poster for Aung San Suu Kyi ...

-- David Ng

Top photo: Shepard Fairey. Credit: Associated Press. Bottom image: Courtesy Human Rights Action Center.