13 posters in the series, based on the United Nations Articles on Human Rights, and seen from an African perspective.
This series of posters on Human Rights express my design philosophy on a larger scale to a wider audience.
My self-set brief grew out of the indignation I have always felt in the way that Africans are constantly portrayed. For many, 'Africa' conjures up images of a continent torn apart by hatred and brutality, corpses and corruption. Ignore these images and the continent has no other identity.
8 of 12 posters on various important issues in the series that began in 1994 for a 'JUST World' conference in Malaysia on human rights. I have continued to add to this theme over the years.
30 days of ‘graphic activism’
During the countdown to the Zimbabwe 2000 elections I produced around 50 ‘graphic commentaries’ in an attempt to chronicle and highlight the many issues that shaped the reality and atmosphere of our predicament with one aim in mind,
to raise the consciousness of our situation and similar ones in the world at large. These were distributed daily by email on the internet.
As a project, this began on 25 May 2000 - the day the voter delimitation zones were announced and went on for 30 days until the eve of the elections. By spending about an hour or two a day on a simple graphic comment related to our situation, I felt I could contribute something through the positive use of design to bring about some awareness to the abuse and violations of our rights being perpetrated in Zimbabwe.
Also given the absolute lack of voter education/information around, which should be the duty of any responsible government except ours, (as this would contradict every aspect of their violent campaign) I also wanted to disseminate ideas out there for interested civic rights groups and individuals to harvest and even use in some way if they could.
Another 30 days of ‘graphic activism’
The Zimbabwe presidential elections were held on 9 & 10 March 2002, once again under a cloud of violence and intimidation, that had surpassed our worst nightmares. This time Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party cynically cloaked their human rights abuses in legislation using laws to dismember and disenfranchise our citizenry.
Maybe I was being unrealistic, and blinded by faith in humanity, but once again I began another month of graphic activism called ‘Portal of truth’ and produced around 42 images. As with the graphic commentaries from the 2000 elections, I sent an image a day, to Zimbabwe and the world, until the elections commenced.
Once again these images were intended for all and anybody’s eyes and could be disseminated and used in any way and every way to spread the truth about our deteriorating situation. The madness has to be stopped and if these images could make the slightest difference, then they needed to be out there.
A World of Questions: 120 Posters on the Human Condition:
A large (18" x 11.25", 45.7 x 28.6cm) thought provoking, conceptual book that urges us to question things we might take for granted. Subjects within the book include: the environment, corruption, assassination, climate change, consumerism, dissent, disability, the death penalty, education, the economy, ecocide, endangered species, energy, equality, fast food, fossil fuels, gender, guns, genocide, human rights, health, technology, labor, culture, nuclear disarmament, philosophy, peace, pollution, privacy, population, racism, religion, recycling, social media, values, vanishing resources, water, waste and war amongst many others. Through design, A World of Questions uses original imagery to engage us in the conversations of our time.
Music: Kinan Azmeh
Purchase book here.
REVIEWS FOR A WORLD OF QUESTIONS
Riveting, heartbreaking, challenging, in your face and poetic. This collection is an utter tour de force. Debbie Millman, USA
An inspirational tool for change makers around the globe. Jakob Von Uexküll, Sweden
The need for change around the critical issues of our time is clearly and powerfully expressed. Milton Glaser, USA
A remarkable snapshot of where we are and how we must move forward. Anita Kunz, Canada
A catalogue of heartfelt graphic provocation from a master of versatile visual thinking. Rick Poynor, UK
A powerful and beautiful book. Rebeca Méndez, USA
A series of astonishing posters nearly unprecedented in history of social design and extraordinary in their content, scope and creativity. Felix Beltran, Cuba/Mexico
Thanks for these 120 wake-up calls…let them hang on the walls all over the world. Swip Stolk, The Netherlands
His eyes are not eyes because you see them. They are eyes because they see you. Ronald Shakespear, Argentina
Stunning images, deep insights and piercing messages are captured so beautifully that they bring the kind of uplifting that we need in our quest for a better world. Anwar Fazal, Malaysia
A book that rises up against injustice with dignity. Mitsuo Katsui, Japan
Impressive. The stakes are high. Pierre Bernard, France
Once again Chaz reframes the issues of our time through his enlightened means of challenging expression…he reminds us that to be bold and emphatic is noble. Rick Valicenti, USA
Such an important book from one of the most perfect visual translators the graphic design field has ever seen. Felipe Taborda, Brazil
This amazing book is for anybody who appreciates the power of visual metaphor. Armando Milani, Italy
This is a timeless and essential companion for exploring life and resilience. Ric Grefé, USA
Intellectual, original, brave, surprising, systematic and relentless. Yossi Lemel, Israel
Chaz has great moral integrity. Why isn’t everyone like him? Maira Kalman, USA
This visually sophisticated poster compendium is filled with love for humanity, its struggles and its future. Mehdi Saeedi, Iran
Chaz challenges us to contemplate the state of our universe, all with surprising and inspiring results. Giovanni De Mauro, Italy
If A World of Questions does not make you think, think and rethink, you may be right to think that you are probably dead. Nnimmo Bassey, Nigeria
Once a month for the past few years I have stuck a tear-sheet flyer with a different illustrated quote on it outside my office door at the college where I teach.
I felt I also wanted to share this with an online audience and in 2013 I started to send these out to my friends and colleagues as well.
These small images aren't posters and were never intended for print. I saw them as digital doodles to keep my mind focused and the creative juices flowing. They are usually done in a day and while some images might be related to a pertinent issue of the day, most are just great quotes which I enjoy.
This cyberspace exhibition without boundaries was launched on Thursday 25th May, 2000 (Africa Day). Displaying their solidarity and concern for Zimbabwe’s situation, a few graphic designers from around the world donated their skills and imagination to protest a proposed Zimbabwe special communications bill intended to intimidate all email & internet service providers by forcing them to allow the government to view ALL communications entering and leaving the country.
An exhibition of posters celebrating commonsense and social responsibility by the students of my poster class at the Massachusetts College of Art. This exhibition initially took place at the State House in Boston, April 12-16th, 2004.
These posters are intended to raise awareness, to call to action, to enlighten, to promote, and to inform.
International Posters for Peace, Social Justice and the Environment 1965-2005. Boston, Philadelphia and New York City. The first major exhibition I have a co-curated, this exhibition is a select retrospective of 40 years of international sociopolitical posters. Themes include dissent, liberation, racism, sexism, human rights, civil rights, environmental and health concerns, AIDS, war, literacy and tolerance, collectively providing a window to an age of great change.
Go to the Graphic Imperative Website
© 1991 | 16mm Colour | 17mins 20secs
Written, Directed & Produced by: Chaz Maviyane-Davies
Director of Photography: Tony Shearn
Editor: James Carew
Music: Juwon Ogungbe
Principal Actors: Nick Monu & Graig Lungu
The poem of a dead man - using nationality to look back on the point of his life and human existence. His plight is our plight.
Festivals & Awards:
Southern African Film Festival, Harare. 1993 (2 Awards: Best Director & Best Short Film)
Oberhausen Film Festival, Germany. 1993
1st ANIWA African Student Film Festival, Accra, Ghana. 1993 (Awarded the ANIWA Trophy)
Tampere Film Festival, Finland. 1994
Norwegian Short Film Festival, Oslo, Norway. 1994
Shown on TV:
WDR Germany, Arte France & Channel 4 UK.