Reactor

Pushing Back Against Walmart

by Kyle Chayka on November 23, 2012

Polly Dallas’s anti-Walmart poster (All posters courtesy Artists vs. Walmart)

What’s the best way to combat the post-Thanksgiving hangover? Probably not waking up before dawn (or even after dinner) and lining up at a store to buy stuff. This Black Friday, let’s celebrate instead with a slew of anti-consumption posters, many of which are supporting Walmart’s employees in striking against the exploitative store.

The behemoth store is known for busting unions, silencing whistle-blowers, and paying wages that keep its staff on food stamps. Of course, it’s also the home of a slew of Black Friday deals that are driving customers through the doors and whipping them into uncontrollable frenzies. Is it really worth it? A fake press release noting that Alice Waters would close her Crystal Bridges museum in solidarity with worker protesters and open a labor-focused art exhibition popped up, but clearly it was too good to be true.

The Atlantic puts the problems with Black Friday up to a combination of issues. There are the blatantly unjust practices of big-box stores in mistreating workers and doing anything they can to keep costs low, but another factor is our habits as consumers to jump at the lowest prices and accept the bad practices of discount retailers.

We’ve gathered a collection of poster graphics and image memes that should be enough to convince anyone to stay home this afternoon.

First off, take a look at this video of eager buyers mobbing each other to get their hands on a few Xbox games — does not look like fun.

Now, see outdoor apparel manufacturer Patagonia’s eloquent anti-consumption ads in the New York Times and online for their Common Threads initiative, arguing against new purchases in favor of thinking more carefully about what we really need.

Patagonia’s New York Times anti-consumption ad (Image via Patagonia)

(Image via Patagonia)

Finally, check out this collection of graphics from Artists vs. Walmart, a Tumblr that showcases anti-box store images from a range of contributors. Pick one and share it on your social network of choice.

Poster by Julio Salgado

Poster by Robert Trujillo

This poster by Lex Non Scripta is particularly graphically powerful

Poster by John Carr

A Mexican muralist-inspired design by Dylan Miner

A poster by an anonymous artist.

Poster by David Wennemar

Poster by Fiona Avocado

Only half of Black Friday left to stay home and not buy anything!

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