The Bodley Head, Vintage have revisited their trailblazing 2017 poster campaign for Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny with a new work in partnership with street advertising specialists Jack Arts to celebrate On Tyranny: Graphic Edition, a reimagined version of the work by celebrated author and illustrator Nora Krug.
The poster display in London’s Newington Green area, featuring Nora Krug’s incredible artwork and the powerful, ever-relevant messages of the book, is the latest of many transformations that On Tyranny has undergone.
On Tyranny began as a Facebook post, born from a history professor’s urge to 'get the sense of crushing despair off of [his] chest' following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Within days, the post was shared over 18,000 times on Facebook, picked up by media outlets and read by millions of people worldwide, beginning Snyder’s journey from renowned historian to one of America’s foremost political commentators and one of the world’s most sought after commentators on America. Within weeks of that initial post, Snyder expanded his lessons to create what has become one of the most influential books of recent times. It has been read out by rockstars (Michael Stipe), received by the Pope and inspired protest and activisim around the world.
In 2017, in a world first, Vintage and Jack Arts printed On Tyranny in its entirety in specially designed and illustrated posters across public billboards in London, to international fanfare. Now, in its newest incarnation the celebrated author and illustrator Nora Krug has breathed new life, colour and power into Snyder’s modern classic, turning this pocket guide of lessons into a visually striking rumination and call for action. History does not repeat, but it does instruct. In a time of great uncertainty and instability, this edition of On Tyranny emphasises the importance of being active, conscious, and deliberate participants in resistance.
Author of the original text, Timothy Snyder, said: 'Nora Krug’s work is astounding on the page and astonishing as a broadside. On Tyranny is about how our actions in public matter more than we think. Nothing could be more appropriate than getting its lessons to public places. Of the twenty lessons of On Tyranny, one that people return to again and again is: 'Take responsibility for the face of the world.’ The poster campaigns that follow this lesson are a delight. The poster is right. It does matter that we read, and what we read. If these posters help our bookshops then we have achieved our task.'
Artist and illustrator, Nora Krug, said: 'Enlarging pages from On Tyranny, and posting them on public walls make them appear like contemporary versions of traditional broadsides: illustrated poems that would talk about important events and issues of the time.'
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