Celebrate People's History: The Luddites

Shaun Slifer
GVSU Collection
2 Color Offset Printed Poster
June 2014
Artworks - Height: 17" Width: 11"
A gray and red poster that is primarily filled with text of all different sizes and color, but follow the same vertical orientation. There is an image of a factory on fire above them. Poster text reads: "We petition no more. That won’t do—fighting must. LUDDITES: being a social uprising in the Midlands of England between the years 1811 and 1813 TO PUT DOWN ALL MACHINERY HURTFUL TO COMMONALITY! Certain inventions in machinery were introduced into the staple manufacturers of the north, which, greatly reducing the numbers of hands necessary to be employed, threw thousands out of work, and left them without legitimate means of sustaining life. . . . Misery generates hate; these sufferers hated the machines which they believed took their bread from them; they hated the buildings which contained those machines; they hated the manufacturers who owned those buildings.” —Charlotte Brontë, Shirley."
Historical Context:
The Celebrate People’s History posters are rooted in the do-it-yourself tradition of mass-produced political propaganda. These posters embody democracy, inclusion, and group participation in the writing and interpretation of the past. Unlike most political posters, the posters part of the Celebrate People’s History series tell the stories of the underdogs, those individuals and groups helping to move forward the collective struggle of humanity to create a more just world. For 20 years, over 130 different posters have been displayed on the streets of over a dozen cities representing over 150 artists and writers. The Celebrate People’s History Poster Series has been organized and curated by Josh MacPhee since 1998.