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Creative activists protest the cost of living crisis

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The cost of living crisis is a huge issue, affecting so many aspects of working people's daily lives. Ahead of 19 June's We Demand Better national march, it's important to get that impact across to more people, and help show what's at stake.

One group of creative activists have responded to the crisis by pooling their talents to design 19 striking campaign posters. 

Labour Party Graphic Designers are a voluntary network of designers who come together to develop work around high profile topics for the labour movement. They rose to the challenge of the TUC's upcoming “We Demand Better” march on 18 June, and created a special art pack to help build the campaign.

Here are just a few of our favourites from the art pack. We asked their designers to tell us what had inspired their work.

Look out for some of the posters printed up as placards at the march. And check out the LPGD site to see all 19 great designs.

The Cost Of Living With The Tories - Mike Andrews

Mike Andrews,

"I was struck by the abstract way in which the 'cost of living crisis' is too often described — like it's just something that's just happening to us. In reality it's something our government is actively allowing to happen, so I wanted to communicate that we're having to live with this because of the Tories, as well as a sense of urgency and a visual link to capitalism in the imagery of sales stickers and the "everything must go" language."

Whose Cost Of Living Crisis? Peter Brawne

Peter Brawne,

"Though it's a phrase much bandied about, 'the cost of living crisis' affects different people differently. As always, those who are least able to, bear the brunt of the crisis, while those with the most won't even notice. The focus, rightly, has been on those struggling now. But this leads our gaze away from the extremely rich. Just three real-life examples of what such wealth may buy are shown in the poster. Implicit is the suggestion that while a minority are immune to the crisis and can make privileged decisions about 'how to spend it', millions of others are making stark choices between eating or heating. The intention is to reveal the obscenity of a society where such disparities can co-exist and suggest that solutions lie in adopting redistributive policies that make the rich pay for the crisis they created."

Mend That Hole - Ellis Pearce

Ellis Pearce,

“This design was heavily inspired by a poster on display at the People’s History Museum, which is ironically Pro-Conservative. The current conversation around the rising cost of living seems entirely disconnected from the political will of a government that is only interested in consolidating its own power, it was important to me that the issue be directly brought back to the impact of the Conservative government on the lives of ordinary people. As corporations have increasingly adopted the language of protest as a means of advertising we have to find new ways of communicating the power of collective action. I see projects and designs like this as a starting point to a conversation. There isn’t some magic line where things get bad enough that everyone individually decides they’ve had enough: we have to build a better future for ourselves together.”

We Can't Afford... Kevin Kennedy Ryan

Kevin Kennedy Ryan,

I took inspiration from the cliché "hello my name is" stickers that you only ever really see in American movies. I'm not sure if they actually exist in real life. The rationale behind the design was that because the cost of living crisis affects everyone in such a myriad of different ways; it gives people a chance to tell their personal stories. 

Sana Iqbal, Rise for a Raise

Sana Iqbal, @SanaIqbalDesign

"We’re living in a real-life Robin Hood world. The pandemic has seen the wealth of billionaires double whilst the incomes of 99% of humanity fell. Our government fought to protect oil and gas profits whilst increasing taxes on front-line workers. We have leaders, like the Governor of the Bank of England, who earns £575,538, telling working people to not ask for a pay rise at a time when families are choosing to heat or eat. So I say, rise for a raise, and demand an end to this injustice. Don’t accept this mistreatment and don’t wait for things to change, instead make it happen."

"Use these posters to create your own placard and join the march. If you can’t make it, then print off these messages and place them in your window to rekindle a fighting spirit for a better and fairer future."

What will you bring to London on 18 June?

With the national march and rally fast approaching, will you be making your own placard or poster to bring along?

If you are, we'd love to see it.

We've got 3 campaign hoodies as prizes for our favourites, to help you look the part on the march. Tweet a picture of your placard with the hashtag #demandbetter, or upload a photo with this form. We'll get in touch with the winners by Twitter or email.

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