After a tumultuous Republican National Convention in Cleveland, the Democrats took the stage in Philadelphia against a backdrop of a second email scandal and pro-Bernie Sanders protesters, who channeled their outrage through handmade posters. While Hillary Clinton’s supporters waved campaign-printed signs proclaiming, “I’m With Her,” “Better Together,” and “Love Trumps Hate,” Bernie die-hards covered their cars in Bernie regalia, paraded around blown up effigies of the Vermont Senator, and even raised a Game of Thrones-style banner for House Sanders.
According to Steven Seidman, an emeritus strategic communications professor at Ithaca College who has written extensively on campaign imagery, artists and designers are “natural supporters for progressive candidates like Sanders and Obama.” If Sanders had gotten the nomination as a more grassroots candidate, Seidman said, there would have been the occasion and more time to inspire images as powerful as Shepard Fairey’s Hope poster in 2008 (Fairey did create an illustration for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ fundraiser for Sanders this year, but it didn’t have the same impact). Seidman connects the creativity of posters to grassroots passion, but this is something the party’s actual nominee isn’t exactly known for.
“There’s very little out there for Hillary Clinton,” Seidman said. “For all the millions who voted for her, I’m shocked I haven’t seen more [art] because she’s the first major female candidate.”
Still, Bernie fans have more to protest than Hillary’s supporters at the convention and the streets of Philadelphia reflected this sentiment. Bernie protesters expressed their devotion through onesies and homemade posters on the streets while the DIY Hillary signage mostly appeared on the floor of the convention. Bill, though, did make multiple appearances outside.
But Hillary’s opinion on all of this? As one parody account imagined it, “If I gave two shits about the haters I would’ve dropped the game decades ago.”
Below, a few Instagram scenes from the streets of Philadelphia this week.