A More Perfect Union: We Fear What We Don't Understand

Richmond, Va.'s The Martin Agency has created posters for A More Perfect Union (AMPU), a nonprofit organization at the local University of Richmond, "whose mission is to promote tolerance and understanding between all faiths, but esp

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Richmond, Va.'s The Martin Agency has created posters for A More Perfect Union (AMPU), a nonprofit organization at the local University of Richmond, "whose mission is to promote tolerance and understanding between all faiths, but especially Islam," says Martin CD Joe Alexander. "There's an incredible amount of prejudice directed at the Muslim population right now. Unfortunately, they have become synonymous with terrorism. AMPU is dedicated to breaking down the barriers through awareness, education and fellowship. When we first put the work up at the agency, people would just stop and say things like, 'Hey, what are you doing with the terrorists' typeface?' Hopefully, the posters will elicit fear and suspicion first, then surprise at the translation and, finally, a feeling that we have to stop jumping to generalizations and start understanding the Islamic community."

This lead ad is the U.S. Constitution in Arabic, but other ads (see the PDF) feature some peculiarly mundane subjects for translation. Why not use, say, lines from the Koran that speak to peace and tolerance? "Our goal is to show how conditioned we Americans have become to expecting a terror message or hate toward the U.S. when we see Arabic type," Alexander explains. "We wrote the lines to be as innocent and innocuous as possible to illustrate that even when a nursery rhyme is set in Arabic, it still seems scary." The posters are seen on campus at the University of Richmond and they've also been distributed to schools all across Virginia, says Alexander, with transit, newspaper and banner ads now in production. "Our hope is to branch out into mainstream media by the end of the year." Click here for more on AMPU.

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About

Credits
Date
Oct 06, 2006
Creative Director:
Joe Alexander
Art Director:
Mark Brye
Copywriter:
Cedric Giese
Calligrapher:
Saba Abed
Client:
A More Perfect Union
Agency:
Martin Agency
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