extremism & populism
Oct 1
2015

The Story of Graphic Design

The world of extremism and populism is the world of symbols. As you can see on our homepage, there terms usually represent things and feelings which are part of our everyday life. They include tools which we use in the households and gardens, sources of pleasant feelings, fresh fruits, animals, and stars that we watch in summer nights. What is bad in the symbol of love which we draw in a dreamful state of mind on the front page of today´s newspapers?

You could visit a very interesting exhibition of modern art in Singapore last year. The Singapore Art Museum called the exhibition ‘After Utopia. Revisiting the Ideal in Asian Contemporary Art’. Utopia is an imagination of an ideal human society. English writer, Thomas More, created this word for his book when he combined the Greek words for ‘good place‘ and ‘no place‘.  In one of the halls of the Singapore Art Museum, there was a single-channel video installation. See here (https://vimeo.com/42584042)  The video was produced by a group of Viet-American of artists in collaboration with an international advertising agency responsible for campaign of Apple. In reality, the video is aimed at young consumers. Producers purposely soften up the redness of communism to make it less confrontational and more fitting for the youth. Rooms, equipment, clothes, everything in the video is the snow-white. The colour white is the symbol of purity. People form a community. They help each other, cooperate, spend together their leisure time, and smile during all activities. The woman´s voice is pleasant and it shortly tells us the main ideas of communism for the future. If we did not know the dark history of communism, which was full of underdevelopment, poverty and loss of human lives, many of us would like to live in this ideal world, full of harmony and happiness.

Propaganda is dangerous. It usually uses simple statements and symbols to draw attention and stir emotions. The same holds for symbols on the homepage of our Project. These symbols are used in the logos of various European extremist and populist parties. They meet the condition of simplicity. They are in bright colours to draw the voter´s attention. Everybody knows their meaning. They can express positive feelings of bliss or negative feelings of anger and fight. Extremist and populist parties use them to demonstrate a radical change and better future. However, the reality is not as simple as these bright symbols might try to present. We know that there is something dark, unpredictable behind them. Therefore, we use dark grey colour on the background of our website. It could seem that extremism and populism are separated phenomena. However, it is not true. As on our homepage, they represent two spaces which are close to each other or are interconnected. If you return to our website for several times, you find out that the positions of the symbols change in the space. They move as well as extremist and populist parties in the political landscape of countries do to attract voters. We are glad to welcome you at our Project website again!