Photojournalist Mannie Garcia (www.MannieGarcia.com) took a photograph of Barack Obama that Shepard Fairey turned into a poster design — a poster that for many would come to represent the hope they wanted, and needed, to believe in when electing Obama. When the poster became popular, the Associated Press, who Garcia had been working for at the time, entered a legal battle with Fairey, demanding credit and compensation. In 2009, Fairey admitted to and was later found guilty of deceiving the court about which photo he'd used (he claimed to have used a photo that he would have needed to alter more for the creation of the poster) in order to make a stronger "fair use" case. In 2015, Fairey told Esquire that Obama had "not [come] even close" to living up to the HOPE poster as a president. Obama has been criticized for not doing more for working class people of color. Garcia, who was arrested in 2011 for "disorderly conduct" for photographing a police officer and who believes that he, not the AP, owns the copyright for the photo used in Fairey's poster, was quoted saying, "If you put all the legal stuff away, I’m so proud of the photograph and that Fairey did what he did artistically with it, and the effect it’s had." It's hard for us to reconcile what to believe in and how to have hope when people are such mixed bags — when they do bad things, don't live up to our expectations, buckle under internalized oppressor training and trauma from oppression, and demonstrate resilience and other-oriented care anyway. Sometimes, it's just hard to hold compassion, boundaries, and love for others, for ourselves, and for different parts of ourselves at the same time. How do you help yourself tolerate and transform human complexity in complex and unjust systems?
[image description: A cartoon homage to, commentary on, and parody of Mannie Garcia's photo / Shepard Fairey's poster design in which Barach Obama is rendered as a heart. Obama is wearing a blue suit and red tie against a red and blue background, has a graphic coloring and shading, and looks calmly out at the viewer. Text reads: "HOPE."]
I love you already.
500 PATRONS IN 5000 DAYS CHALLENGE
You can be part of spreading #MindfulHearts
to people's living rooms. The first 500 patrons will be acknowledged
in the #MindfulHearts coloring and activity book, Room for Living (with an estimated release in 2025).
Just $1/month pledge is a great way to say,
"I want to keep seeing new #MindfulHearts every day!"