Welcome Visitor:

Let the Walls Speak! Political Poster Exhibition

Date and Time: 
Thursday, September 6, 2007 - 4:00am to Thursday, September 20, 2007 - 2:00am

Art for struggle! Struggle for art!

Picture this: a government smashing student unions, big business crushing workers, police beating up anti-war protesters. But at the same time there are people are fighting back: women marching against violence, students shutting down uranium mines and Aborigines re-claiming their land. This isn’t just 2007, it’s 1997, 1987, and 1977. And at key moments, art has played a crucial role in the struggle - illustrating and inspiring the power of social movements.

In 2007 Jura Books turns 30, and this exhibition is part of the celebration. For three decades Jura has been a base and an expression of many campaigns and movements, and has been collecting political posters. Let the Walls Speak: 30 Years of Passionate Dissent will be an exhibition of the best of political posters from the last thirty years of social struggle in Australia. Jura is co-presenting the exhibition with the University of Sydney Union over the APEC period – to bring art to the protest, and the protest to the art gallery.

The poster collection was re-discovered a few years ago gathering dust in the archives of the Jura Books. This will be the first time they have been exhibited outside of Jura. There are now over 3,000 in the collection, from a diverse range of struggles ranging from early Aboriginal Land Rights struggles, the feminist movement, the Green Bans, anti-uranium mining, anti-Fraser and many many more. We’ll be showing a careful selection of about 100 posters.

Some of the most stunning posters are from the artist collectives which operated in the 1980s out of the (then squatted) Sydney Uni Tin Sheds. Powerful, eloquent and moving, these full colour posters use silk screening craft and artistic techniques unique to Australia and which have rarely been used since.

The collection contains many Earthworks pieces - the seminal group of activist political artists in Sydney. There are also posters from Lucifoil, Without Authority Posters, Redback Graphix, Toby Zoates and many others.

Not only are the subjects of the posters political, but the method used to produce them was democratic and non-elitist – anyone could produce a poster with a little training and a lot of passion and dedication. The Earthworks Poster Collective would invite student and community groups to use the facilities, and often shared their skills with those who were just starting out using the silk screen processes.

At the same time as APEC politicians discuss prolonging the war, profiting from environmental devastation and silencing dissent, come and feast your eyes on the alternative: art which demands action and envisages a better world. Let the walls speak!

When? From the 5th September to the 19th. The opening night is on Wednesday 5th September from 6pm, with talks by some of the original artists at 6.30pm, food and drinks available. After that it will be open 10am till 7pm weekdays, and 10am to 4pm weekends, except closed on the 7th, 8th and 9th.
Where? Sydney University Holme Building, the Bevery (on the Parramatta Rd side of the campus)
How much? Entry is by donation. And all proceeds will go to preserving the posters, which may not survive for another thirty years otherwise.

Jura Books
440 Parramatta Rd
9550 9931

For more posters go to images.