Tomi’s Alternative Election Poster for Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

This September saw a parliamentary election in Germany, to elect new members of the Bundestag. It was a significant event not just for Germany but for the democracy of wider Europe.  Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, the partner magazine of Germany’s most widely read daily newspaper, asked a series of well-known artists to provide “alternative election posters” for their pages in the run up to the elections.

As a reaction to the cult of personality that surrounds political leaders in the media, these posters were to be based not on political personas but on political ideas. Artists were asked to deal with topics or ideas related to democracy and to society itself.  Tomi Ungerer’s poster shows the statue of liberty behind a wall. She has her hand cut off, the hand that was holding the torch that would lead people to the land of opportunity.  Famously, while living in the U.S.A. in the 1960s, Tomi created a series of gut-punching posters to express his disgust with the Vietnam war and racial segregation. This newest poster tells us the artist is still as concerned as ever that his sometime adopted home of the U.S.A. should be a place of welcome for all people.

-Sophie Meehan

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