In 2016, Oxford Dictionarys' word of the year was "post-truth." Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Americans have been inundated with these "alternative facts"/lies, so much so, many are beginning to see this as the new "normal." This presents a great risk to the country. It's critical our institutions remain trusted agents for Americans. Right now, that trust is being undermined in two ways.
Donald Trump often calls out the media for publishing "fake news." In January 2018, he and the Republican National Committee issued a list called the "Fake News Awards." But, a majority of these were mistakes that resulted in retractions. Most importantly, many Americans are learning to distrust the media and are gravitating towards news outlets that reflect their beliefs and biases. Curiosity, that is, taking it upon ourselves to shape an informed opinion is being replaced by blind acceptance.
While the president often declares news critical of him or his administration to be fabricated, he has often been the source of "fake news." From claiming Barack Obama was not an American citizen, to saying he saw Muslims cheering after the attacks on 9/11, each has provoked outrage from those who believed him as well as those who thought they were out-and-out lies. Yet, the resilience of these stories has made many question whether the truth is now meaningless.
Soon after Trump's election, he named Steve Bannon, former executive chairman of the ultra-conservative website Beitbart News as his chief strategist. Breitbart often focuses on fringe issues like birtherism, racism, and homophobic topics. Rather than treat news as facts, Bannon's style is to treat each story as an unfolding narrative where facts are less important than the grand crusade of the Right against the Left. Victories are more important than the facts.
The posters in this series reflect the conflicts the American political system has been experiencing during the turbulent period between 2010-2018. They are meant to encourage an exploration and a dialogue about the cultural minefield we now find ourselves in.