Israel loves Iran campaign
Ronny Edry – graphic designer/organiser of this project & his daughther
Since my MA Design, in which I investigated in practice and theory how to reach, engage, empower and activate people, I have been very skeptical about campaigns that support larger and/or global issues (since then, I also have been very sceptical about visual communication design). The reason for my skepticism has to do with the ‘traditional’ static way of campaigning through posters and even online visuals and the problem to really reach people in order to stand up for causes as global warming, poverty and human rights – to name a few –that are too far away or to complex to act and bring about change. With these larger issues we can easily become helplessness and feel powerless to actually influence the situation. I often think we developed the defense mechanism of ignorance, making it easy to just focus on our own lives, cutting ourselves off from society and the threat of major (global) issues.
Yesterday I came across this campaign. It really touched me and even more, it gave me faith again in humanity and perhaps also visual communication. Iranians and Israelis declare their love for each other, campaigning for peace as opposed to the war-campaign of the politicians.
It made me realise – once again – how politicians decide about the lives of many, in this case by starting or threatening with a war. And we, the citizens, don’t have a say in it. It makes us powerless. Yet, this campaign is creating a bottom-up movement giving the participants a (visual) voices by publicising personal pictures and messages – a sensitive thing in these countries due to fear for punishment – and share their view. Ronny Edry, the graphic designer and organiser of the campaign says “For there to be a war between us, first we must be afraid of each other, we must hate. I’m not afraid of you, I don’t hate you.” How can you hate or fear someone, when you don’t know them? There is something very powerful about this bottom-up movement for peace.
I am asking myself the question what makes this campaign different from the ‘standard’ campaigns? The medium and platforms of advertising is the same – I mostly claim that we don’t see posters anymore, because the public space is ‘polluted‘ with visual images– but perhaps it are the individuals with the personal messages claiming their freedom of speech (a sensitive subject) and the strategy to break the top-down hierarchy of government. By painting a true and honest picture. To me, the ones that contained the strongest message:
Hatef an Iranian soldier
All photos via israelovesiran