“Collaborate or die” command graphic designers Adrian Shaughnessy and Astrid Stavro. In recent months, the pair have been busy teaching a group of Royal College of Art students of MA Visual Communication and Digital Direction to “think big in order to find alternative solutions to social issues”. The result? A new publication titled Podium, which launched at the RCA this week.
Podium draws a question mark over the value of visual and verbal communication by meditating on the ways we collectively navigate the every-changing world around us through creativity.
A list of contributors including Vince Frost, Peter Kennard, Kenneth Goldsmith, Ken Garland, Marion Deuchars and Elizabeth Ellis were asked to submit a single-page response to the question “If this was your last chance of expressing free speech, what would you want to say and how?” Each contribution comes with an explanation or rationale, so that the work might better be understood.
“In a year where we celebrated the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK, we have also an increase in No Platform policies at universities, a growing number of alt-right groups and global press censorship, all questioning our established notions of free speech, Collaborate or Die therefore wanted to explore ‘what is the value of free speech in a world where this freedom is both weaponised and exploited?’” the group explain.
“The intrigue for the group was how these individuals would choose to communicate, whether it was their beliefs, to apologise to someone, to be honest, to tell certain politicians to fuck off, to shed light on something or to make someone uncomfortable?”
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