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OBEY's Shepard Fairey Wants To 'Make America Smart Again' In This Election
This has been an ugly, disheartening presidential campaign, but Shepard Fairey still thinks he can inject a little hope, like he did in 2008.
Fairey and his wife Amanda have teamed up to start Make America Smart Again, a movement that not only encourages millennials to vote, but also become engaged and informed voters. While Fairey's politics are plainly obvious to anyone familiar with his work (and this election he's declared himself #WithHer, after previously supporting Bernie Sanders), he says Make America Smart Again is non-partisan and not aligned with with any one candidate. "Only you know what is important to you!" the Faireys say on the movement's website.
And while he's no fan of Donald Trump, Shepard Fairey at least sees the genius behind one part of his campaign, appropriating Trump's infamous slogan. "In some ways it's smart. Whatever grievance you have, you just project what needs to be changed," he told LAist. "Whatever you're mad at."
But, he says, "It's a very shallow tactic."
"The rise of Trump using Twitter as one of his favorite mediums... it’s inherently minimal and shallow," he added. "People responded to that well instead of saying, 'You're not giving us enough.' To me that was very troubling."
"If we don't ask for better, we don't get it."
Millennials now have as much potential voting power as Baby Boomers, but they suffer from potentially low voter turnout. And getting millennials to the ballot box is only half of the battle. Fairey hopes that MASA can act as a facilitator to educate the electorate by pointing them towards resources like Politifact and encourage them to dive deeper in the issues important to each individual.
Part of this outreach will be events like Saturday night's screening of Idiocracy in Los Angeles, and a panel discussion and screening held in Detroit earlier this month. (The Alamo Drafthouse will also be holding tenth anniversary screenings of Idiocracy across the country on October 4.)
And since it's Shepard Fairey, he's also lent his visual talents to a new Make America Smart Again window display at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. The display was a collaborative effort from Fairey's Studio Number One. Check out a timelapse of the display's creation below:
The bottom line is, Fairey says, you have to vote: "If you don't participate, you leave things, even moreso, in the hands of people you may not agree with."
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