I've designed a poster to get people thinking about the future as we emerge from months of crisis and lock-down. This is my way of striking while the iron is hot. I see many things wrong with the world, most of them stemming from our culture, which, of course, forms a feedback loop with individual behaviour and policy. Right now is a crucial moment, where social isolation, lack of opportunities, and harsh microeconomic realities are affecting people who don't usually struggle with these. Everyone wants this crisis to end, but my dearest hope right now is that everyone will also see this moment the way I do: as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to fix what's wrong with our world.
But political polarisation makes it hard to articulate a broadly appealing vision for the future. It's hard for me to believe sometimes, but we're at a point where "living wage" is a dirty word for some people. Any kind of agreement on good policies has to begin with agreement on cultural values, I think. We're at a unique moment where people just might be primed to find common ground in core cultural values, if they are prompted the right way.
Practically, this means that I've taken care to use language that evokes our shared anxieties during this crisis while avoiding politically polarising language. I hope to avoid tripping people's reflexive political reactions and strike a chord with an earnest appeal to some attitudes I hope most of us can agree need to change.
By the way, the style may look familiar. I was inspired by prosaic 19th-century posters like these: