This year’s Poster Triennial in Trnava is hosting many events besides their main poster exhibition. One of them was a four-day workshop, focusing on the topic of fake news in media. The main lecturers were German poster designer and the head of gggrafik design studio Götz Gramlich and Mexican graphic designer specializing on culture, identity and poster Eduardo Barrera Arambarri.The workshop included 11 international participants.
Primary focus was to work with media and news headlines and figure out how they are manipulating opinions of people. Students had to go through several warm-up excercises, for instance to create CV full of lies or to collect headlines from media and manipulate the meaning. Main part of the workshop consisted of creating a poster that would react to the fake news issued by the medium of choice (f.e. satire or disturbing picture).
The resulting posters from the workshop are hanging on the walls of the Trnava City hall attic, free to public until 28 October 2018. From the first glance, it is obvious that the posters were given a color palette of black, white and red, which makes them unified. Most of the participants were working with news headlines, mostly addressing the general issues such as usage of shocking headlines or the credibility of the information. Common topics were lies told in tourism or trade commerce for profit, for example a poster with Tourist guide presenting Syria as an adventurous country especially for women and children. This nicely shows how the media influences our opinion on other countries. Few other posters addressed politics, especially in USA, which is a very common topic these days.
Some of the posters immediately show the critique in full extent like the Health plaster or Invisible swimsuit, nice work with fake news other than general media is the imitation of DIY advertisements.They often pretend to be non-commercial yet the author pinpointed the ridiculous services and profit they often hide.
As the workshop was public and not all the participants were professionals or students in the field of graphic design, it is hard to judge the formal quality of the posters. Visitor has to judge more how clearly the content was visualized than the formal quality ot the technique. Maybe it would be more efficient to focus on topics less covered by media, so the visitors would feel more tempted to investigate deeper into the issue.
The exhibition in general is not the highlight of the poster production yet I find it a good exercise to start our own critical thinking and approach to information we digest daily in various forms, before we proceed to the exhibition of the finalists in other buildings.