Political posters for the masses

By Momo Chang Mar 10, 2009

Favianna Rodriguez, 30, is constantly thinking of new ways to get political messages across through art. Her newest project, the bilingual book Reproduce & Revolt/Reproduce y Rebélate, does just that. It’s chock full of black-and-white images spanning topics from globalization, militarism and media justice to the environment and transgender issues. All of the images in the book, which Rodriguez, a silk-screen poster/printmaker, co-edited with Josh McPhee, are royalty-free—anyone can use the images without the artists’ permission. The book features hundreds of images from nearly 200 artists hailing from a dozen countries.

Rodriguez says folks and community workers can reproduce the images in a number of ways: “Book covers, newspapers, Web sites, picket signs, T-shirts, banners, flyers, curriculum.” The images are also available as free downloads at

Growing up in Oakland, California, Rodriguez spent much of her teens in Mexico, although her parents are immigrants from Peru. She is often thinking about how artists are responsible to their communities for messages of social justice, and her own work these days focuses on reframing the debate around immigrant rights. She recently created commissioned public art pieces in San Francisco and for the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, which featured her political posters focusing on women immigrants. She also runs her own design firm, TUMIS, which she started in 2002 with artist Estria Miyashiro.

Rodriguez hopes that one day immigrants will no longer be seen as “illegals” but instead as humans—one poster at a time.

To see Rodriguez’s work, visit