Signs Of A New Movement: From the Women’s March On Washington

01/25/2017 12:50 pm ET

First conceptualizing and then actually hand-making a sign to take to a march is a variant of Street Art – part of the theatrical, political, personal, contentious activation of public space that you individually can take entirely with your own act of creativity. For pros and amateurs alike it can seem enthralling, liberating, even risky to put your artistic skill and opinions out there for others to gaze upon and analyze.

Still a protected form of speech (so far), the results of your industry can be thrilling, humorous, confusing, absolutely enraging. It depends.

King of beauty shows grips the arm of Miss Handled. Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)

On the occasion of Donald Trump’s first day as president, January 21st brought an enormous flood of defiant and celebratory art, performance, and chanting to Washington. Also, thousands of pink crocheted ‘pussy’ hats.

We follow Street Art wherever we go around the world and we are always on the lookout for new, effective, poetic, strident, abstract, in-context messages and techniques. This march met and exceeded expectations.

Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)

With three times as many attendees as the actual inauguration, the Women’s March in Washington D.C. on Saturday may have been the biggest in US history. Reportedly there were hundreds of “sister marches” which it spawned across the world. Just in terms of math that means an unprecedented number of aesthetically inclined people were challenging themselves to make signs, props and all manner of theatrical costumery to get their point across.

“I’m from Columbus, Indiana – home of Mike Pence and that is very  discouraging for me because I do not support Mike Pence’s
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
“I’m from Columbus, Indiana – home of Mike Pence and that is very discouraging for me because I do not support Mike Pence’s views on LGBTQ rights at all. I am here to protect my daughters, and my granddaughter. I am here to protect Women’s Rights. I am here to protect the immigrants in this country, who have made this country strong. I believe this is a nation of immigrants. I believe our country has been hijacked by a narcissistic, self-centered, very very sick human being. And I think we all must stand up against this and fight back now. And that’s why I’m here!”

Themes addressed often spoke to subtle and overt misogyny and women’s empowerment and dominion over their health, bodies, intelligence, families; all in direct response to Trump’s cavalier disparagement and violence toward women on the record and alleged in courts.

Other topics of signs for this least favorite new president skewered Russian involvement in the election, a cabinet of mostly white male billionaires from banking and oil, his mocking of a person with disabilities, racism toward anyone not white, a mocking disregard for all environmental matters, and cats.

You undoubtedly agree that cats are appropriate for nearly any march, as long as you don’t expect any actual cats to actually march, because that would be beneath them.

Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)

“We will not go away! Welcome to your first day!” was one of many chants that the New York photographer named The Dusty Rebel heard during his two day survey of the streets of the capital.

A dedicated eagle eye on the streets capturing buskers, beauties, prosletizers, preachers, politicos, and flim-flammers, Dusty says that this visit to DC was an overwhelming experience and sometimes challenging to capture. We’re thankful that he did and that he shares some of his favorite shots with BSA readers today.

Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)

In fact, this momentous series of marches across the world looks like it may have launched a new political movement, possibly sparking an increased level of engagement of citizenry with the wheels of government. It’s hard to tell but at least for now it’s brought more handmade art to the street.

“Sounds like it’s already time to start coming up with new sign ideas!,” says Becki F. on her Facebook page when it has been announced that the next march is being planned for April 15th – tax day. One possible outcome will be that the President admits that yes, people do care about his tax returns.

Plush female symbol made from a recycled vintage quilt by Jewelry designer <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instagram.com/
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Plush female symbol made from a recycled vintage quilt by Jewelry designer Cat Luck.
Someone is not feeling Tindr. America Swipes Left sign by Steve  Dean.
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Someone is not feeling Tindr. America Swipes Left sign by Steve Dean.
One of Shepard Fairey’s newest posters from the “We the People” campaign proved inspirational to many in the Muslim community
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
One of Shepard Fairey’s newest posters from the “We the People” campaign proved inspirational to many in the Muslim community as well as many supporters, some of whom donned US flags as hijabs. 
Many signs featured images of Star Wars character Princess Leia as a  tribute to the actress who played her and who recently
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Many signs featured images of Star Wars character Princess Leia as a tribute to the actress who played her and who recently passed away, Carrie Fisher stars as the princess leads The Resistance.
Musician Stevie Nicks was quoted on this sign by <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.instagram.com/panhandle_slim_/" target="
March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Musician Stevie Nicks was quoted on this sign by Panhandle Slim from Savannah, GA, while Madonna blathered curse words at the mic. Music released in response to Trump/Pence’s election/inauguration include new songs by A Tribe Called Quest, John Mellencamp, Tori Amos, Arcade Fire with Mavis Staples, Green Day, Gorillaz, Coco Rosie, and a growing list.
Mad Pussy sign by Taramarie Mitravich.
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Mad Pussy sign by Taramarie Mitravich.
Using a Trump quote from a <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html" t
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Using a Trump quote from a video tape released in October, this sign features the Statue of Liberty.
Here the Statue of Liberty is portrayed as silenced.
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Here the Statue of Liberty is portrayed as silenced.
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)
Women’s March On Washington, DC. January 21, 2017. (photo © The Dusty Rebel)

To learn more about the Women’s March On Washington or to get involved click HERE

___________________

Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

A version of this article is also posted on Brooklyn Street Art here.

Read all posts by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo on The Huffington Post HERE.

See new photos and read scintillating interviews every day on BrooklynStreetArt.com

Follow us on Instagram @bkstreetart

See our TUMBLR page

CONVERSATIONS