Images of defiance : South African resistance posters of the 1980s by The poster book collective of the South African history archive
Ste Publishers, 20 December 2004
Soft cover, 192 pages
Images of Defiance is a visual record of grassroots mobilisation and resistance, of the struggle to shatter the silence imposed by massive state repression. This book of posters celebrates the Congress movement and the principles it has fought so long to uphold: non-racialism, democracy, and an end to economic oppression.
Produced by ordinary members of community-based organisations during the 1980s, these symbols of defiance are the work of a people confronting the present with courage and determination, and facing the future with strength and hope. We owe those who had the foresight to begin collecting posters from the very beginning, as they have made the compilation of this book possible. This process of collecting posters was not without danger. The state saw posters as subversive, and the security police kept a constant look-out for the production and distribution of such media. Activists were beaten up or jailed simply because they were found with posters and leaflets in their cars and homes, or caught putting up posters in the clandestine darkness of night. In our collection there are copies of posters which were confiscated, and later returned, by the police. These carry the date of confiscation and the signature of the confiscating officer.