Analysis Of The Anti-trump Statement In We The People Poster By Shepard Fairey
A propaganda is a mean of communication to influence others’ opinions to support a belief. In 1914, during World War 1, the word propaganda effectively came to use. Different types of propaganda were used to deliver different messages.
In various propaganda, the American flag was used to deliver the feeling of patriotism and encourage the people to fight in the war. Similarly, in the 21st century, “We The People” poster by Shepard Fairey, used American flag in the poster to bring all Americans together. The poster got used during 2017 election campaigns to oppose Trump’s bias opinion towards certain races. The propaganda inspired thousands of Americans to unite and raise their voice against Trump’s political party. The poster is trying to support a group that is vulnerable in the society.
The poster is effective as it succeeds in delivering the message through written language, American Flag, and the picture of a Muslim girl. The poster does not contain contents that might be disturbing or misleading the audience. The poster does not directly target any political party and it also does not contain any misleading facts to gain support. The artist made a positive statement in the poster, by presenting his statements in the simple and familiar language. To make it an effective propaganda, the artist also used some propaganda techniques. Glittering Generalities is used as a vague phrase to generalize all American citizens. “We the people” phrase, the American Flag, and the picture of a Muslim girl is used to generalize all American citizens (especially ones of color) to evokes the feeling of patriotism.
The picture of the girl generalizes all non-caucasian races, and more specify the Muslim community, living in America, to represent the community targeted by Trump and his supporters. Transfer technique is also used by adding the American flag in the poster, in order to add the feeling of patriotism. The poster is trying to convey the message of how great America is and how the people of America should express patriotism towards their country by not being bias towards certain cultures.
The American Flag in the poster is used because it is something that all American citizens respect and makes the propaganda more effective. Alongside the other two techniques, Fear is used but the author to a lesser extent. The author specifically chooses a Muslim girl to symbolize a community subjected to hate and fear ever since the 9-11 incident in 2001. In order to eliminate that fear from the minds of the audience, he dresses the girl in the American flag to showcase that she is no different nor less patriotic compared to any other American.
Due to the success of the propaganda in inspiring American citizens and opposing Trump’s political campaign, it further got used in the Inauguration Protests and the Women’s March. I personally feel that this poster has done an exceptional job sparking a moment amongst Americans in the fight against discrimination. Overall, the main message the artist is trying to deliver is that all Americans should think beyond cultures and religions, unlike politicians. We should all unite together and stand up for different ethnic groups that are let down in society.
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