Size: 24 x 36 inches
Quite possibly the most powerful poster of the past decade–or perhaps longer–which cuts through all the clutter and demonstrates just what xenophobic propaganda can accomplish. As stated in an article by Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times on Sunday, January 10, 2010, “Switzerland stunned many Europeans, including not a few Swiss, when . . . the country, by referendum, banned the building of minarets . . . A poster was widely cited as having galvanized votes for the Swiss measure, but was also blamed fort exacerbating hostility towards immigrants . . . [The poster] used minarets rising from the Swiss flag like missiles . . . Beside the missiles a woman glowers from inside a niqab. ‘Stop’ is written below in big, fire-engine-red letters. The obvious message: Minarets lead to Sharia law. Never mind that there are only four minarets in Switzerland to begin with . . . It may be hard for Americans to grasp the role these images can play [in Europe]. In subways and on the streets of America, posters and billboards are eye-catching if sexy or stylish . . . but they’re basically background noise. By contrast, they’re treated more seriously [in Switzerland], as news, at least when they’re political Molotov cocktails. Cheap to produce . . . and easy to spread in small countries like Switzerland, where referendums are catnip to populists, they have the capacity to rise above the general noise.” Segert is the manager of Goal, the cynical public relations firm for the anti-immigration Swiss People’s Party, currently the leading political party in Switzerland. Hand-signed by the artist.