Expressions

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Doubt

Or / Maybe as / is Demolition

Graphic Design = Terrorism - 02/16/2017 (10:29 pm)

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Re-brand, design, and development of Al-Qaeda's propaganda magazine "Inspire" w/ Vijay Masharani
Inspire1

A link to the site can be found here.

A) Client

From Wikipedia: Inspire Magazine was an English language publication produced by the organization al-Qaeda. The magazine was aimed at young British and American male readers with the intent to radicalize and incite acts of domestic terrorism. The magazine was thought to be the work of Anwar al-Awlaki, an English-speaking cleric and al-Qaeda leader based in Yemen. Its first issue was published in July 2010.

All content has been sourced from past issues of the magazine and can be found through references provided within the site itself. 

Inspire2

B) Context

Since its inception, graphic design has operated in a vacuum free of critique or reform. Its growth as part of the monetization of cultural production has been left unchecked and in turn has allowed the medium to become saturated in its dependence on luxury consumption. Few efforts to critically analyze the medium have yielded any productive discourse given our ignorance and/or arrogance in blindly accepting the political, social, and economic context in which design operates.

In his remarks prior to the Sessions confirmation vote, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) discussed a “running debate” between himself and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) about “what an American citizen can and can’t do.” Graham made the case that “you can’t join Al-Qaeda and collaborate with them without consequence … we can hold even one of our own as an enemy combatant if in fact they have been collaborating with the enemy.

There is no such thing as ethical design. The myth of the socially-minded designer was created as a screen to mask privilege.There are only consumers. There are only consumers that are given agency by producers to step outside the unilateral transfer of power that is embedded in consumption. This is the context in which graphic design operates.

 

Inspire3

C) Audience 

Which design firm was responsible for Blackwater’s identity? Which design firm handled Blackwater’s rebrand to Xe? Which design firm handled Xe’s rebrand to Academi? How tenuous is their connection to the murders of Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square? Does this firm offer internships? Paid or unpaid?

D) Mission Statement

Graphic design is economically sanctioned terrorism.Graphic design is a simultaneous act of aggression and domination through the co-opting of culturally significant symbols.Graphic design is both a symptom of capitalism and its replicating agent.

I am a graphic designer.

 

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