What is the “Say Their Name” Sticker Campaign?
The purpose of the “Say Their Name” campaign is to cover the streets of NYC and major cities with the names of the lives lost to police brutality. Each of these stickers are designed by a POC artist, and the funds from the Kickstarter will go directly to the production of these stickers, and the talent of these artists.
“Say Their Name” is a project started as a response to the recent shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and an extension and physical manifestation of the #saytheirname movement online, a movement to remember and focus on the black bodies that have been lost.
We see stickers as a method of subtle subversion and disruption, a way to inject messages into environments in a non confrontational way and serve as a catalyst for reflection and conversation.
We are hoping these stickers, when separate from the violent news headlines and media vitriol, will serve as a way for people to see the name, say the name and remember these individuals not as victims but remind them of the humanity behind each figure.
We are hoping with this Kickstarter it can help us distribute these stickers and with your help accomplish our goal to get these names on every wall and every thing.
This project hasn't even been live for a full two weeks yet and we have already lost another life. Its shameful how quickly and often this happens. This is a global epidemic, and a problem we all have to work on solving.
Before anyone starts pointing fingers based on the news coverage coming in about Korryn Gaines, remember how one-sided all the reporting is. Remember just last week, Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore's very own state attorney who took on the Freddie Gray case, accusing police of false reporting and bias. "Officers who were witnesses were placed on the investigation team, lead detectives were uncooperative, the department launched a "counter-investigation" to disprove her case."
Korryn Gaines had a voice and used it to document police but she STILL HAS a voice because it is time for us to fight for her.
** NEW STICKERS **
We've heard your suggestions to include more female and trans representation and have been working hard with 4 new artists to letter 4 new stickers. The media frames police violence as a black male problem but it is important to voice who else this happens to. It is important to be aware that the names of women of color especially transwomen killed by police continue to be less known. We also have to say their names.
Statistically transphobic violence (not necessarily by police brutality) occurs more frequently than cis-gender violence. Last year the homicide rate against black transgender women hit its peak. We're opening up the project to cover not just violence by law enforcement from racial profiling and injustice but also violence fueled by trans discrimination.
Islan Nettles called Harlem home, one of many American places dubbed "chocolate city" because of its history as a destination during the Great Migration. It has and continues to be an epi-center of black resistance, intelligentsia, and creativity. It is this environment where Islan lived and died that inspires this design. The sticker calls to typography from early 1920s posters that advertised acts like Josephine Baker to Cab Calloway, the bright lights of the Apollo theater and the Cotton Club, and african wood carvings often found in Harlem street markets. Islan wanted to pursue a career in design and to follow in the footsteps of many black creatives in the past and present.
I chose to illustrate Philando Castile's name and reappropriate the extravagantly known Ferrero Rocher Chocolate wrappers to memorialize his life indefinitely. The gold wrapper symbolizes the beauty and importance of his ephemeral life.
At the rate people of color are slain at the hands of police in our country, it is often that we forget one name once the next headline appears. Trayvon Martin was "one of the first" young Black men to be slain in our recent times of social media news coverage, yet I feel he has already been forgotten. Playing on "the elephant in the room" and "an elephant never forgets," I placed Trayvon sitting ontop of one carrying his name.
The theme of flora and fauna falls heavily into my work; the root, stem, and leaf comprise of a complex capillary network that symbolically evokes underlying themes of our connections to nature. With this sticker, I hope to sooth and heal Mr. Sterling name and remember the magic he brought to his family.
One of the contributing factors to Akai Gurley's passing was the limited amount of light in the stairwell where he encountered Peter Liang. In public housing projects, there is a term called the "broken window" effect where the government turns a blind eye to improving the quality of living in dilapidated neighborhoods like the projects. This causes these areas to be deemed "unsafe" and "disorderly" and in turn allows for heavy policing and arrests targeting the people living in these housing complexes. Here I decided to depict Akai's name in neon lights in reference to that idea. Akai's family and friends also said that he always wanted to be famous, so here is a way for his family to see his name in lights.
Sandra Bland was described by her family and loved ones as bright and full of life and love. She was outspoken about police brutality and racial injustice both in her private and public life. I wanted to choose a style that was reminiscent of her black womanhood, and lately I've been attracted to bold, 70's inspired scripts. Growing up those letters always reminded me of my mother and aunt when they would reminisce about those times: Funky, daring and rebellious. As well as being full of black pride. I wanted to write Sandra's name in a way that would express these aspects of her, and the history of black womanhood. The colors chosen are of her alma mater Prarie View A&M University, an HBCU in Texas.
The wings are a response to the New York Times' Michael Brown story stating he "was no angel." It's just another in a long line of negative portrayals of victims of color (via words and images) while white mass murderers and rapists are shown in a sympathetic light.
Read more about our artists and designers on our website: www.saytheirna.me
We will be producing and printing our stickers with StickerYou, who is a proud supporter of this campaign. We have discussed with them the prospective amount of stickers we are printing in bulk and they are ready to start their engines (I'm not entirely sure if printers have engines).
For more information on StickerYou and to learn more about the quality of our stickers visit their site here: www.stickeryou.com/
Risks and challenges
One of our challenges would be figuring out how to package and ship an estimate of 5000-10000 stickers. But with enough hands and time, through a weekend it can be done.
Another challenge is knowing how to respond and/or ignore the negative online criticism that will be generated by opponents of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (17 days)