Monday, September 5, 2016

When thinking about this project, I wanted to incorporate ideas from Douglas Crimp’s “The Boys in My Bedroom, ”specifically exploring the image appropriation he deemed tantamount in postmodernism and seen throughout the graphics created and released during AIDS activism, in relation to the pieces we read on the cityscape as both site and content for activism (per Jim Eigo’s “The City as Body Politic / The Body as City Unto Itself” and Esther Kaplan’s “The City Is Ours”). Birthright Israel, or more colloquially Birthright, immediately came to mind, because while not an organization dealing with only a cityscape, it is an organization that brings up notions of homeland and contested space. The physical landscape that is at the heart of Birthright can serve as both the site as well as the content for activism and, indeed, has.

I chose—or rather appropriated—a stock image that comes up many times when Googling the organization’s name, presumably used to market the 10-day trip. I came up with a simple slogan—“It’s my birthright too”—playing off the name of the organization. As the word “birthright” is inherently exclusionary, my intention with this slogan was to directly challenge this by showing that more than one group considers this landscape its “homeland.” Struck by the simplicity and, thus, effectiveness of many of the visuals used by AIDS activists, I chose to write in my slogan by hand in order to emulate their minimalist approaches. Moreover, the conscious decision to manually write in the slogan also serves to comment on the amount of funding it would take in order to offer a free 10-day international trip to a group of people.   

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