“IRA vs. Black Lives” is part of the traveling, multi-platform exhibition "Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design, and the Mueller Report.” The work represented strives to mobilize political engagement and interest in the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, also known as the Mueller Report. The project also aims to make the information contained in the Mueller Report more accessible to a wider audience through the use of type and image.
Though "IRA vs. Black Lives" is part of a larger collection of posters that were originally developed in 2019, it was designed in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the national Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020. “Ongoing Matter” collection is currently traveling around the United States.
The poster features a depiction of the designer's father, Lee Roy Berry Jr. I, when he was approximately the same age as Tamir Rice, a 12-year old Black child who was gunned down by police in Cleveland, OH, in 2014. The use of a personal image reflects the preciousness of Black lives and serves as a reminder that each and every Black life is personal to someone somewhere.
Woven throughout the poster are quotes from the Mueller Report and the U.S. Senate Intelligence Report on Russian Active Measures Campaigns and Interference in the 2016 U.S. Election (Vol. 2). Both documents emphasize the extent to which Russian operatives specifically targeted African Americans to "provoke and amplify political and social discord in the United States" and subsequently undermine faith in free and fair elections. The poster also references Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook's collective role in contributing to election interference.
“IRA vs. Black Lives” has been featured in four exhibitions as well as in an op-ed for AIGA’s Eye on Design titled “Making Public Information Actually Accessible to the Public is the Responsibility of Designers” (https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/making-public-information-actually-accessible-to-the-public-is-the-responsibility-of-designers/).
“Ongoing Matter” has exhibited at Indiana University’s Grunwald Gallery of Art and Maxwell Hall, the Krasl Art Center, The Galleries at Cleveland State University, and will be showing at the University of Dayton’s Radial and Index galleries in 2022. Additionally, "IRA vs. Black Lives" is one of two posters from the "Ongoing Matter" collection to be featured in Herron School of Art + Design's "Sum of Unity" exhibition.
Cleveland State University Exhibition catalog: https://www.ongoing-matter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/200570__Ongoing_Matters_Exhibit_Catalog_R3.pdf