“I am the person who made the posters:” Artist explains intent

Flyer found near Argo Hall in Revelle College. (Gabe Schneider/The Triton)

I am the person who made the posters, and I feel I should clarify their meaning, as well as apologize for not making that meaning obvious enough and causing this whole situation.

First, they are not anti-Muslim at all, I intended them to be sympathetic towards Muslim. I am a Japanese American myself, so the subject of interment has always meant a lot to me as a tragic event, especially since my own grandparents were forced into internment.

The posters were meant to mimic the internment posters because I wanted to shock/anger people and to show them what could happen if they didn’t do anything to stop it. It was a warning presented as a possible future. I know this meaning doesn’t come across in the posters very well, but that is why I wrote in red ink at the bottom of each poster.

Each poster has a message or subject that was supposed to get the viewer curious and begin researching internment, as well as send a message about internment. They included things such as Fred Korematsu, Executive Order 9066, Unit 442, as well as little messages comparing dates like “Feb 19 1942, Jan 27 2017”. A couple even included statistics or quotes about refugees and how they are harmless.

That was the other goal of this project, it was to make people educate themselves. I left many of the messages vague and with a loose connection to internment because I wanted to simply establish a connection between the situation of the Muslim people, and the Japanese people, and then let the viewer arrive at their own conclusion.

Though, it looks like the messages, even the very obvious ones, were ignored and most people assumed they were anti-Muslim. I wasn’t necessarily after changing the world, I just wanted to add to the discussion, provide some information, and let people know that this had all happened before. This message becomes more and more apparent as one sees more posters, but sadly most of the posters have been torn down, and their messages erased. This, again, I recognize as my fault since I did not make their message obvious enough, which lead people to think they were anti-Muslim.

The article written about my posters made no mention of the writing at the bottom of each poster. Seeing how this is pretty key to the interpretation of the posters, I would like to ask that a new picture of the posters that includes the writing be put up. Though, again, I don’t necessarily blame you for not including the writing, seeing as how they were vague and almost not related, depending on which poster you saw.

Finally I would just like to apologize again for the misunderstanding, and to anyone that I have offended or hurt. Thank you for listening.

This letter was submitted by the artist in order to clarify their meaning. He wishes to be anonymous, but we have verified that he did create the posters.

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