Poster: Buttons of the Cause (1960-2003)
From the creator of the poster:
"Over the past few years I have begun to share my collection of buttons at exhibitions...The interest and response to the history portrayed in these small, shiny, colorful metal objects has been incredible. It also confirmed my long-held belief that these buttons were indeed a truly overlooked medium and had a message to convey to people not just from my generation, but also to many young people today.
...These include [buttons representing] such issues and movements as Civil Rights, Vietnam, the Women's Movement, the Environment, Animal Rights, Workers' Rights, Apartheid, Africa, Ireland, the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Globalization, Nuclear Disarmament, the American Indian Movement, Gay and Lesbian Rights and the Peace Movement. The buttons were reproduced at full scale and in a montage format – spread out
and randomly overlaid on each other.
The buttons generally cover a time period from the August 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr., to the marches held worldwde during the winter of 2003 aganst the invasion, occupation and war against Iraq, as well as the demonstrations against the World Bank and I.M.F. (International Monetary Fund). When possible, I attempted to present both "sides." By this, I mean, (using the Vietnam War has an example), I have clearly depicted an "I'm Not Fonda Jane" and "Tell It to Hanoi" button along with the mulitude of anti-war examples.
The poster is not meant to be an ideological or political statement as such, of one side or the other. To be honest, I do have "issues" with a few of the causes, and in particular, one or two of the personalities depicted. Rather, I see this poster as an educational item. AFTER FORTY YEARS, much of this is now falling within an historical context. At the same time, all of these events, personalities and issues are STILL front page news and a part of our daily culture; from the panel discussions, author interviews and book reviews on C-SPAN, to the movies, books and television shows being produced each year, to the newspaper headlines and features which are in our face each morning [as well as on blogs and websites everywhere], to the actual issues, people and causes which have evolved and impact us today. At the same time, this poster presents a strong sense of nostalgia and memory, bittersweet perhaps, for those generations that experienced this era firsthand (I'm 59).
I have included a narrative portion of the poster that spans the bottom, and leads off with the 1968 quote from Eldridge Cleaver: "If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem." The narrative includes a key, unique and interesting written historical component that complements the buttons. I have simply listed 260 events, milestones, personalities and organizations identified either with the buttons or the issues. The dates of the marches and demonstrations, as well as bill signings and when the various organizations were formed (when able to determine) are also included. This narrative will not only evoke a lot of memories and even research, but also serve as a reference for all those folks who have these buttons stuck away in their drawers or attics. There is really a lot of history, dates and other factual information here. I have not been able to find a similar product...presenting this panoply of subject matter and information in such a colorful format.
• It can be used as a teaching tool in the classroom or campus, or just something many folks would like to hang on the wall. I tried to develop it as an item portraying a facet of American political history, public policy debates and issues in a really neat way. " - Al Feldstein
The size of horizontal format is 36" x 24" which is a standard frame size. It is printed on 80 pound coated stock with an aqueous finish and in a high-resolution four-color process. It was published in a limited press run.