Since WWI, the image of the Jackboot has been used repeatedly as a symbol of totalitarianism and military aggression, often embellished with a symbol—just so you know who is oppressing whom.
Why the sole of the boot (funny choice of words… it must be my English)? Because everything underneath the sole of the boot is insignificant and small: bugs, worms, little men/creepy crawlies.
Because of this, the oppressed often portray themselves under the boot.
At the same time, the oppressors try to disguise themselves (like the recent example of UDC, the right-wing political party in Switzerland, in their campaign against immigration). They portray immigrants (painted black, of course) stepping on the pristine Swiss flag.
Or sometimes, they don’t want to pretend at all, like skinheads on the covers of their CDs.
But in some other cultures, the sole of the shoe is considered one of the filthiest things because the sole is in direct contact with dirt and feces. That’s why lately we see images of people stepping on photographs of local tyrants, dictators, and “bad guys.” But sometimes if they can’t step on their face, they try to throw shoes at their face.
This new “spring/uprising” movement of the little man creates a new visual trend captured perfectly by the latest poster of Amnesty International.
As Robert Crumb says, Keep on Truckin’…
Watch the Flickr slideshow with 80+ more “boot” images:
If you liked thisCheck out more of Mirko’s slideshows:
Boy “O” Boy: The (sometimes) clever use of the “O” throughout movie historyCeci N’est Pas Une Roquette: A history of subliminal flying machinesThe Spirit of the Stone Type: A look at comic book type etched in stoneStone Type: A history of movie type etched in stoneThe Story of O: How designers use the letter O as a design motifHoliday Spirits: Pardon me, there’s a lady in my drinkOff With Her Head: What would Henry VIII Do?Why I Became an Artist: Pictures of artists drawing their modelsBooks on Books: Using pictures of books to sell booksBeauty and the Beast: The evolution of a classic poseGeorge W. Bush, Advertising Star: When companies use our president to sell stuff