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Poster Exhibition Challenges Gender Inequality

An exhibition of posters in Bloomington showcases the work of artists who are taking a stand for human rights by challenging gender inequality.

The walls of Illinois Wesleyan University's Merwin Gallery are covered with posters that unflinchingly convey an imbalance in the world. "Women's Rights Are Human Rights: International Posters on Gender-based Inequality, Violence and Discrimination" showcases graphic design that aims to shed light on gender inequality and stereotypes and violence against women and girls, while promoting female empowerment and full participation in society.

Credit Laura Kennedy / WGLT
The posters in the show both shock and inspire.

"It's an amazing teaching tool to have at this University," said Carmen Lozar, the gallery's curator.

Students from graphic design, women's studies, political science and more have viewed the show.

"There's been a lot of interest in this exhibit. The images can be very confrontational. There's bright colors, beautifully designed images, and then when you actually look at the content, often times it can be very caustic or intimidating."

The collection of 75 posters came from artists from all around the world, said Lozar. From Indian goddesses that bear the cuts and bruises of a battering to Rosie the Riveter-inspired posters advocating voting, the images can both shock and inspire.

"Posters are a quick and easy way to get information to the public. They're large format, they're often not expensive to print, they're disposable. So it's important that these images are in this poster format. It's a way to get the word out or to express this idea that women's rights are human rights to a mass audience." 

The poster exhibition continues at the Merwin Gallery at IWU in Bloomington through Feb. 22.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.