Visual
Making Sense of Switzerland

Making Sense of Switzerland

Switzerland isn’t synonymous with the left. Best-known for its banks, it’s more commonly equated with financial services, and the politics such an economic specialty suggests. Independent, historically, from the rest of Europe, the affluent, alpine, multilingual confederation is far more difficult to make sense of than its neighbors. More»

Nazi Assholes?

Nazi Assholes?

What is the best way to handle a legacy of extremism? This is an important question for every democratic government, but particularly in those nations where radical ideology once held sway. And Germany remains on the top of list. No matter how stable the post-war Federal Republic’s political institutions, the Third Reich is never too far from people’s thoughts. More»

Italians Against Unemployment

Italians Against Unemployment

Piazza Vittorio was empty. With the exception of two elderly men, struggling to inflate what looked like an enormous stage prop. As I grew closer, its details came into focus. It was a fake boulder, with the word “Crisis” (Italian for “crisis,” shorthand for the economic crisis) written on it. More»

Condemning the Military

Condemning the Military

This sticker, the final installment in Souciant’s series on the German Left Party’s youth outreach campaign, complements the other anti-military message in the series. But, whereas that one builds on a pull-no-punches approach developed in the Weimar Republic, and reanimated by punk, today’s is strangely subdued. More»

Occupied Italy

Occupied Italy

Squatting is in the news again. This time, as a consequence of a new UK law criminalizing the practice. In effect since November, the legislation could not have been passed at a poorer (to put it bluntly,) time. With the British economy in its fourth year of crisis, there was something especially cruel about the gesture. If you’re homeless, that’s your lot. Shelter is out of the question. More»

Chuck Norris Makes the Left Hip Again

Chuck Norris Makes the Left Hip Again

This sticker, the third in a series Souciant has been documenting, is a pre-emptive strike against its creator’s public image. Earnestness has long been a problem for the Left. Whether your idea of a “leftist” is a Volvo-driving vegan devoted to Democracy Now, or a labor organizer whose idea of fun is to explain, over too many drinks, why Leon Trotsky was a true hero More»

Ashamed of Lublin

Ashamed of Lublin

Lublin‘s Studio for Socially Engaged Art, led by Szymon Pietrasiewicz  (see At War With the Past) designed a social tolerance campaign using hand-drawn images printed on city bus tickets. These pictures presented Jews, Roma and gays as being accepted by soccer fans of the local football club, Motor Lublin. More»

Anarchists Against the War

Anarchists Against the War

Blame the duration. Now in its eleventh year, the war in Afghanistan has assumed an aura of permanence. Like the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it grinds on, without any endpoint in sight. American declarations about drawing down its troops look good in the newspaper. However, nobody takes them seriously anymore. More»

Revitalizing the Leftist Imaginary

Revitalizing the Leftist Imaginary

Burning rivers, blood-soaked seal fur, birds coated in oil and now beachside amusement parks standing forlornly in the surf: the environmental movement has long had a gift for distilling complex problems into memorable images. The traditional Left, by contrast, has struggled to find those proverbial pictures worth a thousand words to communicate its most crucial arguments. More»

Their Eyes Were Watching Gaza

Their Eyes Were Watching Gaza

Europe can be lonely for Israelis. Particularly during campaigns against the Palestinians. In between the anti-war demonstrations, the flyers and the graffiti, there is a perennial sense of favoritism, which many translate as anti-Semitism. Why else would they (the British, the Italians, etc.) always ignore Israel’s suffering? What about the rockets? More»

Aristocracy and Labor

Aristocracy and Labor

A Princess is Not a Career has gone viral. Starring US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Sesame Street video captures the judge informing muppet Abby Cadabby that “princess” isn’t a legitimate or desirable career option.It’s a useful public service announcement to counter the princess meme that’s infected Anglo-American pop culture as of late. More»

Angela's Army

Angela’s Army

This sticker, the first in a series from the German Left Party’s youth outreach campaign that Souciant will be featuring in the weeks to come, provides a biting critique of the career opportunities —The Clash’s song by that name is brought to mind — in Germany’s army, the Bundeswehr. Even as it mobilizes nostalgia for its more egalitarian past: More»