Dissent in Qatar

Tomorrow, the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar opens the exhibition “The Design of Dissent” curated by Milton Glaser and Mirko Ilic. It will run from February 3 through March 7. Qatar is a unique venue for this kind of exhibit, so hats are off to the organizers for taking the step.
As noted on the VCU/Qatar Facebook page: “Graphic
designers spend a good deal of their time persuading people to buy
things, visit events, or to follow trends because they supposedly
understand the nature of persuasion. Many of us feel that this skill
can be applied to more significant purposes, such as commenting on the
events of our time. Speaking out against tyranny has been one of the
political roles that graphic artists have embraced throughout history … Many artists chose to
comment on the political events of their time … Today, hundreds, if not thousands, of concerned graphic designers are
involved in resisting the totalitarian impulses of governments and
other powerful institutions. We decided to document some of the graphic
designers active today who have expressed their concern about injustice
through the use of posters and other printed materials … It’s encouraging to see how many
practicing designers are committed to an idea of social intervention
and are using their skills to promote public good.”

If you happen to be in the neighborhood of Qatar, the exhibition opens at 6pm in the VCU Atrium and will include a lecture by Mirko Ilic (the DH’s erstwhile roving correspondent). You can read more about the book and Glaser on PBS’s NOW here.

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About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.