Stemming from The Happiest Future series, There Is Hope, If We Rise situates itself in the discourse of the Idle No More movement to counter the bigotry, ignorance, and hate that the First People continue to encounter in Canada today.
The work was inspired by Shepard Fairey's iconic "Hope" poster, that used the discourse and aesthetics of propaganda imagery to convey a sense of hope to the American people during now President Obama's first presidential campaign.
The Idle No More movement is a powerful movement that picks up where Occupy left off and supersedes the Quebec student movement by tackling a clear number of issues that have social, political, and environmental ramifications for all Canadians.
There Is Hope, If We Rise challenges all Canadians to take a stand to preserve the fabric of this country, while forging a new relationship with the Indigenous First Nations to balance out the inequality and abject poverty that some First People are subject to.
This movement, and these images, will challenge Canadians to rethink the self image of the utopian, just, and tolerant person. We pride ourselves on helping others around the world, but our blinders remain engaged while looking towards our own country.
See all 12 There Is Hope, If We Rise images here
Posters of each of the 12 images will be distributed by the Burnaby Art Gallery, free for public consumption to be used at Idle No More rallies, demonstrations, round dances and teach-ins.
A limited edition print of each of the posters will also be available for sale through the Burnaby Art Gallery. There Is Hope, If We Rise #1-12 will be featured in The Artist Poster Show, an exhibition that explores the didactic evolution of artist exhibition posters. Drawn primarily from the Burnaby Art Gallery’s permanent collection, the showcase spotlights the artist’s ability to communicate time, place, symbolism or space though an exhibition poster.
There Is Hope, If We Rise #1-12 was commissioned by the Burnaby Art Gallery with funding provided by the City of Burnaby and the British Columbia Arts Council.