Design Workshop Discusses the Power of Protest Art with Local Artists

Artists Steve Saiz and Lillian Saiz Banderas of Dale Zine created protest stickers for protestors. (Courtesy of Dale Zine Instagram)

Katerina Rodriguez// Staff Writer

In the midst of global protests against police brutality, FIU Wolfsonian Museum Curator, Shoshana Rsniikoff, came together with Dale Zine artists Steve Saiz and Lillian Saiz Banderas, to discuss the history of protest art and how it can be used to ignite change today.  

During the conversation held over Zoom, wartime protest propaganda from the 1940s were analyzed and compared to that of the designs created by Dale Zine. 

Poster, United We Win, 1942. Harold (Courtesy of Wolfsonian website)

The first piece analyzed was a 1942 poster photographed by Harold Liberman called “United We Win.” The poster, which is housed at the Wolfsonian, depicts an image of both a black and white man working together at a Republic Aircraft Corporation plant.

The men who were shown working under a colored American flag were photographed to send a message to workers: put racial injustices aside in the interests of the nation’s war efforts.

Another instrumental protest art piece that was analyzed was the 1942 “Double V Campaign,” design from the Pittsburgh Courier, the largest black newspaper in the US during that time. 

The piece was created in response to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s push for minorities to join forces and fight abroad for equality when at home they weren’t seen as that. 

Similarly, some of the posters and stickers designed by Dale Zine and inspired by the artist, Emory Douglas, used imagery to invoke a powerful message.

In contrast to the kind of propaganda being used by the government in the 20th century, Dale Zine uses art forms to convey messages to support the Black Lives Matter Movement. 

After the shooting of Treyvon Martin in 2012, this movement was formed in retaliation and protest of police brutality and the racially motivated violence against the black community. 

After the unlawful police shooting of Breonna Taylor this year, protests for the BLM Movement sprouted across the United States. Dale Zine began designing protest materials including stickers and posters to give out to protestors. They also encouraged activists to reach out to them if they needed signage for their rallies. 

“Art has brought the community together for a bigger goal,” said Steve Saiz of Dale Zine. 

Courtesy of Dale Zine Instagram @dale_zine

One of the stickers designed by the duo features black and white lettering and says “NO Justice, NO Peace” in an aged font that symbolizes the longevity of police brutality in this country. 

The duo often utilizes Miami’s three most spoken languages: English, Spanish and Creole, in their art. This ensures that their message gets across to everyone without a language barrier. 

Thanks to the support of the local community, Dale Zine received donations of printers and other sorts of equipment to continue their protest art. 

You can visit the Wolfsonian-FIU located in Miami Beach to see the protest art exhibition and visit Dale Zine’s website for to see more of their designs.

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