"[The] Adbusters [Foundation] is a global collective of poets, punks and philosophers implementing radical design and media strategies to shake up complacent consumerist culture. We’re aiming at the stale systems suffocating society: the power hungry forces that leave people and the environment in disarray; the toxic capitalism that creeps into our bodies and imaginations.”[i] The magazine has been in publication since 1989 and is produced by the Adbusters Media Foundation, a Canadian-based not-for-profit. Its publishers have produced a range of related projects and events, including an event that kicked off one of the major global protest movements of the early twenty-first century.
In 2011, Adbusters designed, produced, and plastered a poster all over New York City featuring an image of a young woman striking a ballet pose on the top of a bronze sculpture of a bull, the symbol of Merrill-Lynch and a prominent landmark on Wall Street. In the background, barely visible in a cloud of smoke or chemical gas, there emerges a crowd wearing riot gear and gas masks. The bottom of the poster reads simply: “#OccupyWallStreet, September 17th, Bring Tent.” Thus the Occupy movement began. It started in New York’s Zucotti Park, spread to more than 951 cities across 82 countries, and claimed the slogan “We are the 99%.” The Occupy movement brought a new generation into political consciousness and broadcast globally its critique of the intense economic inequality of late capitalist society.
[i] Adbusters, “About Us,” n.d., https://www.adbusters.org.