Free Radicals

I’ve just read an interesting post from Adloyada, musing on the clichés of ‘radical’ chic, after her daughter spotted some Che Guevara curtains in a Highgate shop:

Meanwhile my daughter is now thinking of silkscreening some blind fabric herself with an image of zionist-socialist pioneers…same sort of visual iconography, but with altogether more acceptable associations.

Of course, some people might find those patterns as offensive as Adloyada finds the Che iconography.
I was reminded of that other clichéd expression “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” this morning, listening to an edition of the BBC Radio 4 programme The Reunion, in which fellow political prisoners incarcerated on Robben Island spoke about their time there. There was a clip from the South African Prime Minister – either Vorster or Botha – taking the moral high-ground, saying they would not negotiate with revolutionaries. Their successor F.W. de Klerk did just that, however. Its heartening to remember that it was negotiation, and not blood-shed, which brought about a change in the system in South Africa.
Castro?A final, releated saying is: “Terrorism is the poor mans war; War is the rich man’s terrorism.” German artist Stephan Müller has produced Terrorism… & The War Against It; or: Corporate Design done with Dedication, a book of photograph, which explores the imagery of terrorism. He also created an accompanying icon set, downloadable as a free font set, which includes the logos for such popular armed groups such as Haganah, the IRA, ETA, Al-Qaeda… and the US Navy Seals.

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