Welcome to Memetic Production of protest signs!

This digital archive collects protest signs from the Women's March of January 21, 2017.

The making of these signs is memetic (yes, memetic from meme!). Memetic production follows three main principles: participation, layering of references and reappropriation of meanings. These three principles can be found in Internet memes, but also in the production of protest signs.

I am interested in the pop culture references of these signs. From Beyoncé to the Gadsden flag, they combine self-expression with pop culture, creating the paradox of inside jokes shared with the whole country. In addition, these signs question the effectiveness of amateur versus professional design. In some contexts, the visual communications created by regular people can be more effective than those of qualified designers.

The core of this project is a web archive which you can browse through to learn about the origins of the references in the collection of signs and to understand the role pop culture can play in clarifying and amplifying the messages of peaceful protests.