Berlin is, and always has been, a city of activism. As such, many of the posters you’ll find plastered across its streets are bright, typographic calls to action. They’re products of collaboration and a shared vision, drawing attention to an upcoming rally or political event.
This month, a new book released by journalist Annet Gröschner in collaboration with the Berlin Feminist Archive FFBIZ highlights one specific corner of the city’s long history of political prints. Entitled Berolinas zornige Töchter (“Berolina’s Angry Daughters”) the publication wrests 50 feminist posters from the last 50 years, bringing their stories to light again.
The Berolina of the title refers to the female personification of Berlin, best-known in the form of a 1895 statue that once stood in Alexanderplatz. It was removed from the square in 1942, likely melted down for war material, and has become a tragic symbol for the fate of the women’s movements during the country’s National Socialist years. Ever since, the name Berolina has been invoked for German feminist projects of all stripes.
The book’s posters are as diverse as the various feminist movements they represent. Informative comics, photo montages, sketchy illustrations, and multi-colored prints sit side-by-side, representing the different design tactics that activists have taken to get their message heard. Together, the collection provides insight into all the topics that feminists have dealt with—and still do. Here, we take a closer look at five of the posters from Gröschner’s book.