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Winner of the 2008 Art and Politics award, graphic designer Luba Lukova believes in the power of both. “Art can change the world; I believe that. If this weren’t true there wouldn’t be censorship in this world,” says Lukova whose incendiary posters press political givens into new shapes.
Astride the United States elections, it is a timely release for 12 posters entitled Social Justice to stimulate public engagement, awareness and debate. Nonetheless, Lukova hopes that the posters have a broader international significance: “The problems depicted are not only American, they exist in many other places.”
Addressing issues such as censorship, ecology, health coverage, corruption, economic inequality and war, the bold images synthesise months of research and doodles. With an innocent humour and supreme economy of form, the posters transcend language and culture, requiring no explanation. Singularly striking, the images pluck an unconscious chord with the viewer
“If you feel that the news you hear and read – dominated by a few mega-conglomerates – is just and fair; if you feel that healthcare is affordable and equitable, although 40-million Americans – including children – have no healthcare at all; and if you feel that our world is safer now than ever – in spite of two ongoing wars, a budget deficit projected into the trillions, global scientific acknowledgement of worldwide climate change, and unchecked nuclear proliferation; then surely this portfolio will have little appeal,” asserts Margaret Scarsdale in the introduction.