Museums Are Collecting Women's March Signs, Affirming Movement

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One of the chief features of the Women's March was an extremely high level of sign making. Rather than the normal assortment of hastily scrawled slogans on reclaimed cardboard, the protest spawned a host of actually aesthetically pleasing artwork. We'd like to think we made a small contribution.

Of course, none of them achieved the heights of "Not Usually A Sign Guy But Jeez." But what could?

The Cut points out that museums across the world are collecting the signs designed by protesters and carried during the march. Jia Tolentino at the New Yorker has an excellent piece that also includes a brief catalog of the signs she saw during her time at the Washington, D.C. march.

"'Fornicating Homosexual Abortionist,' 'Now You’ve Gone and Pissed Off Grandma,' 'Proud Louisiana Liberal — Send Help!' (Plenty of people carried torches for others: white and Asian women holding Black Lives Matter signs, men with signs about reproductive rights.) Others roasted Donald Trump lightheartedly: 'The Devil Wears Bronzer,' 'Urine For a Long Four Years.' Some were as frank as possible: 'I’m Too Worried to Be Funny,' 'I Can’t Believe I Left the Soviet Union for This Shit.' There were pleas for police accountability and grace toward immigrants; innumerable signs protested Trump’s Cabinet, his unreleased tax returns, his Access Hollywood gloating descriptions of sexual assault. Coat-hanger cutouts were everywhere."

The importance of a museum, or lots of museums, collecting these signs is obvious. Firstly, collecting signs legitimizes the movement and explicitly places it within aesthetic historical context. Second, putting explicitly political messages into an archive makes the moment somewhat immortal. Institutional affirmation matters, especially as the new U.S. government seems determined to strike at institutions, including the institution of "reality," at every turn. So holding these signs and placing them within an aesthetic context means that the history can't be as easily erased.

And, come on, women are great at making signs.
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