'Universal Personhood' by Shepard Fairey, 2013
18 x 24 Inches
45.7 x 61 Centimeters
Screen print on cream, Speckletone fine art paper.
Limited Edition of 450 (#322/450)
Signed, numbered and dated by the artist.
ABOUT THE ART
"The goal of the 'Universal Personhood' poster is to promote peace, equality, and humanity. The title “Universal Personhood” is inspired by the fact that many Arab countries have traditionally discriminated against women, but have progressed to acknowledge women as having “equal personhood”. Most Arab countries now allow women to vote, a right not secured by women in the U.S. until 1920.
Discrimination against women is not isolated to the Arab nations and the whole world could use a reminder that women have equal personhood. However, I titled the poster Universal Personhood to add another layer to the message. The western world has an irrational fear of Arabs, especially Muslims and when Arab civilians are killed their lives don’t seem to be given the same value as westerner’s lives. This attitude enables systematic discrimination.
I find the notion appalling that all Arabs and Muslims are treated as inferiors and enemies because a minuscule number of Muslim extremists have committed acts of terror. By that same logic, Arabs should consider all American’s enemies because of the Arab civilian casualties in wars and drone strikes. As we all know, the extreme acts of the U.S. government do not reflect the desires or ethics of all Americans.
I’d like to see a very basic assumption that ALL people deserve respect and human dignity. Let’s look at everyone as having the basic status of “Universal Personhood” and let them only be judged by their individual actions rather than generalized prejudice."