I saw this poster in Vienna and was struck by the words, 72 adverbs that describe how individuals stage public protests.
It isn’t an exhaustive list. The first thing I noticed was that “violently” wasn’t there, yet that seems increasingly to be a factor in protests around the globe. In many cases there is no room for discourse or discussion and instead there is revolution or repression. The line between peaceful protest and armed insurrection is frequently blurred.
How do we handle the idea of protest? What are the boundaries in a free and democratic society? (Other forms of government tend to be much more restrictive, frequently outlawing all protest, imprisoning those who dare to speak out.)
Can we learn from our critics? Do they have something to say that we have missed? Or are our minds closed? Are we too invested in the status quo?
The plaque beside the poster identified the originator of the work as Erdem Taşdelen, an artist i had never heard of before. I looked him up online – turns out he’s Canadian, living in Toronto.
Sometimes you have to leave home to discover it.