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PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE

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In the late 1980’s, American political indifference met its match in the unbridled anger of the New York City activist/artist group, Gran Fury, which countered official dithering over how to address the AIDS epidemic with graphic messaging that still startles decades later.

Gran Fury–which took its name from a car model used by New York City’s police force–launched a blistering propaganda campaign that snatched the AIDS narrative away from an ineffective local and national establishment, and reframed the crisis in terms that could no longer be ignored.

But shock value wasn’t Gran Fury’s only weapon.  More thought-provoking pieces, like 1989’s four-page New York Crimes, smartly and effectively outlined the city’s willful disregard for the suffering of a marginalized community.

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  1. Thanks for posting. Anyone interested might want to check out this great book I found called AIDS DEMOGRAPHICS by Douglas Crimp and Adam Rolston. Although it’s from 1990 I’m sure it’s still available out there somewhere on the www. It’s a collection of graphics relating to AIDS activism from the 1980s. There is more work by Gran Fury in the book and a lot of graphics and posters from ACT UP.

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