From 1979 to 1994 Redback Graphix was an icon of political expression in Australia. This screen-print collective served as a design agency for grass-roots political causes and its vibrant posters were plastered in public spaces throughout Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle. Today, these posters provide a unique insight into social issues of the 1970s and 80s and provide an inspiring model of political engagement for visual artists, designers and activists.
Redback Graphix advocated for issues of importance to all Australians, but especially those whose voices were marginalised. They drew attention to economic inequality and support for Australians struggling with housing and the social welfare system. They advocated for fairness in the workplace, promoted union membership and focused on issues affecting migrant workers employed at BHP steelworks in Wollongong. They addressed issues affecting Indigenous Australians, promoting communication networks such as outback radio and Aboriginal art collectives.
This retrospective of political graphics poses the question - are political posters still relevant in the age of social media? Alongside the classic Redback Graphix posters are contemporary artists working through the print medium advocating political agendas proving that the humble poster is still a relevant artform.
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