Dark Mode

About Days of Rage

Days of Rage is a web exhibition that enlivens historical activist posters from ONE Archives at the USC Libraries through tactile analysis and storytelling. Grounded in the experiences of activists and graphic designers Alan Bell, Daniel Hyo Kim, Chandi Moore, Silas Munro, Judy Ornelas Sisneros, and Jordan Peimer, the exhibition positions LGBTQ+ graphic design as embodied in community realities and histories, producing subjective reflections on the interdependence of design and activism. In assembling the exhibition, these community experts chose five posters from the recently digitized poster collection at ONE Archives at the USC Libraries. Over a sequence of stylized videos that emphasize the choreography of their hands, the invited experts reflect on their selections, allowing the posters to guide ruminations on design language, community responsiveness, erasure and history, and the affiliative force of activist politics. Their hands, voices, and memories serve as interpretive guides in transmitting knowledge, thereby queering the mode in which graphic design is displayed–which is so often static and wall-bound. From bold graphic declarations of community activation to explicit safer sex health campaigns, the posters discussed run the affective gamut, bringing up powerful feelings of rage, joy, and sorrow. Days of Rage privileges this associative and sometimes aleatory interpretation of design, and finds profound value in its capacity to serve as a roiling, continuous link to a shared sense of LGBTQ+ ancestry and struggle.

The exhibition is curated by Andy Campbell, Associate Professor Critical Studies at the Roski School of Design, University of Southern California (USC), and co-curated by Tracy Fenix and Austen Villacis, current students in Roski’s Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere graduate program.

This project is organized by One Institute, made possible by a grant from Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. The digitization of over 4200 posters in ONE’s collections was made possible by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Digitizing Hidden Collections program.

About One Institute

Founded in 1952, One Institute is the oldest active LGBTQ organization in the United States, and is dedicated to telling the accurate stories and history of all LGBTQ people and their culture. As an independent nonprofit, One Institute promotes ONE Archives at the USC Libraries — the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world — and provides innovative educational initiatives, public exhibitions, and community programs. The curatorial and educational choices made by One Institute are guided by our commitment to social equity and justice. We engage with the complexity of LGBTQ history and representation through highlighting the intersectional and authentic narratives of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), women, gender-nonconforming and transgender people, people of various abilities, youth, and elders across all socio-economic classes.


About Protest Sign Font

The Protest Sign Font utilized on the Days of Rage exhibition website is created by GenderFail. GenderFail is a publishing, programing and archiving platform run solely by Be Oakley. The font is licensed for noncommercial usage.


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For inquiries about the exhibit, contact Umi Hsu, Director of Content Strategy at One Institute.

Health Care Not Death Care

Designer: Critical Mass
Year: 1990
Dimesions: 72 x 66 cm

This poster was created by Critical Mass—the art/graphics committee of ACT UP Los Angeles—for the group’s protest at Frontera prison in California’s Chino Valley. In addition to the numerous abuses at the over-crowded women’s prison, which were detailed in a joint legislative committee on prisons earlier in the year, Mary Lucey, a blacksmith and formerly incarcerated person in Frontera’s segregated AIDS ward, brought her own testimony of maltreatment directly to ACT UP. Her experience and advocacy spurred the activist organization to articulate health care as a key need within carceral systems. According to Sisneros, who was present for the protest: “ACT UP believed in universal health care and we felt that everyone should have access to the best quality health care. … We also felt that if you lifted health care treatment for the homeless, for the undocumented, for prisoners, that it would elevate everyone else’s health care treatment.”

Graphically, this poster makes use of an image of mass death event from a different context—stacked skulls in a memorial outside of Angkor Wat to those killed in the Cambodian genocide (1975-79)—lending an urgency and graphic power to their message.

Image: Critical Mass Committee of ACT UP/LA [Ellen Yellowbird, Josh Wells, Jordan Peimer, and Michael Fuller], “Health Care Not Death Care,” 1990. LGBTQ Poster Collection, ONE Archives at the USC Libraries.

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