Posters in Action. Visuality in the Making of an African Nation

  • Language: English
  • 256 pages
  • Illustrations, index
  • ISBN:
  • Print: 978-3-905758-09-2
Giorgio Miescher, Lorena Rizz, Jeremy Silvester

Posters in Action. Visuality in the Making of an African Nation

Posters are designed to act. They moblise people, create citizens and consumers, shape public space and memory. In this richly illustrated volume the action of posters is analysed and documented historically for one African country: Namibia. The volume is the result of a Namibian-Swiss co-operation in research, documentation and collecting. The essays by scholars from both countries consider the extent to which public visuals were distributed, displayed, seen and appropriated in the context of campaigns of persuasion, protest and resistance. The Photographic Poster Archive included in this book documents and reveals a century of contested visuality which shaped the visual communication of Namibia.


Photographs show posters outdoors and indoors, in streets, at junctions, in bars, class rooms and offices aswell as in personalised spaces. In many ways, the Photographic Poster Archive alerts us to the mobility of posters – and placards – as objects and to their capacity to evoke emotions and fix memory.


Printing Posters

Creating Sapce

Mobilising People

Creating Citizens and Consumers

Memoralising History

Fighting a War

The Photographic Poster Archive


“… Posters in Action figures as a role model for future in-depth analyses of the largely unobserved arena of visual (re)presentation in times of political struggle and warfare, for awareness creation or as a central effect of African medial modernity.”

Jounal of Namibian Studies



“There are not many publications about African posters, and I appreciate that this book treats them not merely as an excotic curiosity but worthy of serious scientific investigation. It is not a collection of pretty posters, but nevertheless one of the best poster books I have.”

René Wanner,

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