SIGNS For OUR TIMES 
The most effective way to affect positive change is to amplify underrepresented voices. As part of Signs For Our Times Tal collaborated with Democracy in Colour, Minus18, The Pacific Climate Warriors, Youth Affairs Council Victoria and Next Wave to create five textile banners, each one transmitting an important message identified by the organisation.  
The purpose of power is to give it away. The banners created as part of Signs For Our Times function to amplify the work of the organisations involved in this project and as a call to action: support the work, support the organisations that helped create it, pay your power forward. 
In line with these goals, each organisation received a $300 contribution to support their current campaigns and the banners themselves were gifted to the organisations so they can be used as part of future actions and events. 
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this project was delivered via the social media accounts of Next Wave and Tal Fitzpatrick. They released one banner a day between 27 – 31 May 2020.
This project has been supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne
Tal Fitzpatrick 
Know Your Worth, 2020
Textile banner made using up-cycled materials 
200cm (h) x 147cm (w)
27 MAY: For Assemble!, artist and activist Tal Fitzpatrick has created the project, Signs for our Times; a collection of five banners. We’ll be sharing one each day between now and Sunday. These banners are designed to function as a call to action: support the work, support the organisations that helped create it, pay your power forward. Tal Fitzpatrick writes, 'The phrase Your Worth Is Not Determined By Your Productivity, is a personal mantra of mine… it’s something I have to constantly remind myself to keep guilt at bay.'
I started this banner before the outbreak of #covid-19, before @next_wave announced that the festival would not go ahead as planned. I was going to use it as an example during the eight participatory banner making workshops I was going to facilitated during #NextWave2020 at @testinggrounds and @brunswickmechanicsinstitute. Needless to say, there will be no workshops. Instead, Next Wave connected me to with four amazing organisations: @democracyincolour, @YACVic, @pacificclimatewarriors and @minus18, that I collaborate with (digitally) in order to create the banners for my project Signs of Our Times.
As for this banner, Tal explains, 'Its message took on a new meaning after the pandemic hit. All around the world, people are having to adapt in order to survive this frightening new reality. Now more than ever, it feels important to remember that our intrinsic value as human beings has nothing to do with whether or not we can be constantly productive. Take a breath, slow down, check in with your loved ones. Connect to what gives your life meaning.'
Tal has gifted ‘Know Your Worth’ to Next Wave, '...as thanks for all the work they did to ensure their artists still had opportunities to reflect, create and share ideas around leadership, community and care in a time of crisis.' It will hang proudly in the Next Wave office.
 Tal Fitzpatrick in collaboration with Tim Lo Sudro
Dignity & Justice for All, 2020
Textile banner made using up-cycled materials 
130cm (h) x 150cm (w) 
28 MAY: ​​​​​​​Democracy in Colour is a national racial and economic justice organisation led by people of colour. They run campaigns that tackle structural racism and build the power of people of colour to shape the critical issues that affect their lives. Through their efforts, they are creating a society that honours the dignity of all people.
@timlosudro, the founder and National Co-Director of @democracyincolour, collaborated with Tal on this banner. He chose the statement ‘Dignity & Justice for All’ as he felt it captured the essence of what their work is about. Tim explains, ‘We are people of colour demanding a society that honours the dignity and humanity of all people. Our lives have intrinsic value. We are fundamentally worthy.’ In order to communicate that Democracy in Colour is an organisation that was started and is led by people of colour, Tim asked Tal include a range of diverse figures on the banner itself. Tal did so, using up-cycled fabric collected over time from different places across the globe. This banner will go on to be used by members of #democracyincolour during future rallys and campaigns.  
Democracy in Colour challenge us to not simply act as ally’s, but as co-conspirators who are dedicated to tearing down white supremacy and creating a society where the inherent worth, dignity and humanity of everyone is recognised. If like us, you think this is a vision worth fighting for, here are a few ways you can get involved: 
Learn about their current campaign for safe healthcare access for all during covid-19: https://democracyincolour.org/actions/firewall/
Support their work by becoming a Solidarity Member of Democracy in Colour: https://democracyincolour.org/solidarity-member/
Join the Wage Subsidy Network and use your platform to advocate for #WageSubsidyforAll: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/wage-subsidy-wednesdays
Tal Fitzpatrick in collaboration with Thomas Feng, Briar Rolfe, Nuriyah Haque, Jade Maiolo, Laura Pettenuzzo, Jennifer Rowan, Tiana Sixsmith, Jess Standish and Sebastian Antonie.
We Are Stronger Than The System You Left Us, 2020
Textile banner made using up-cycled materials
127cm (h) x 110cm (w) 
29 MAY: Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic) is the peak body and leading policy advocate for young people and the youth sector in Victoria. Their work is designed to bring about a world where the rights of young people in Victoria are respected, and where they are active, visible and valued in their communities. YACVic lead a range of important projects, services and campaigns across the state of Victoria that propel action that inspires positive change for young people and the youth sector.
This banner was conceived during a stimulating conversation held via zoom with young people involved with YACVic and Tal Fitzpatrick. Tal's collaborators  had a lot to say about the challenges facing young people today and they wanted their message to challenge people to think about the systemic causes of these challenges. 
In their own words, here are what some of they have to say about the banner: 
“Young people are leading the biggest social change movements across the world. Whether it’s access to education, a sustainable climate and world, mental health, and or fighting for our fundamental basic human rights, we are demanding change for a better world, and demanding that our futures be decided by us.” – Thomas Feng
“This statement to me is very powerful, because I feel like it unifies our younger generation and asserts the reality of the system that the older generation has created. Firstly, its recognising all the injustice that our current system has legitimised. This includes lack of job security, sustainable work, the health of our earth, the future of our housing, the future of our children, the rights of young people as well as inadequacy of mental health support etc. But then it advocates for the strength of the young generation who are suffering and shows that we are dedicated to overcoming the purposeful injustice that we have been left with. To me this is something that is very inspiring but also eye-opening, motivating me more to understand our current world and how we can change it.” –  Nuriyah Haque
“I think it’s important that young people remind older people, and oppressors of all ages, that the systems we suffer under require constant maintenance from both the people benefiting from the system, and from the people suffering under it. I think it’s powerful for young people and marginalised people to remember that, when we work together, we have the power to change and break the systems we’ve been born into.” - Briar Rolfe
“To me, this statement speaks to the strength of young people to live within a society that has disenfranchised them and despite the oppression faced, are willing to come together and work towards a better future for all.” – Jade Maiolo
“For me, this statement reflects the true unity of young people, and the solidarity that we feel amidst the systemic disadvantage and marginalisation that we face. It emphasises that we are strong enough to affect change and that the system designed to leave us out is finite, and the unity and power of young people is infinite.” – Jessica Standish
Those in the group who work with #YDAS the Youth Disability Advocacy Service, encouraged us all to think about accessibility both in language and in the design of the banner. This part of the conversation influenced the design of this banner, and is the reason Tal chose to keep the banner simple, bold and high contrast. The banner will be donated to @YACVic and will hang proudly in their office. 
If you are a young person in Victoria OR if you’re passionate about elevating, amplifying and recognising young people’s perspectives and expertise on the issues that matter to them, then visit https://www.yacvic.org.au to find out more. 
Tal Fitzpatrick in collaboration with Florence Folole Tupuola, Arti Chetty, Erin Tuhanuku, Jade Louis Blair, Poro Bibi, Annie Cheffers, Robati Harrison
Rarangaa Taai Aika Ana Roko #JustRecovery, 2020
Textile banner made using up-cycled materials
87cm (h) x 170cm (w) 
30 MAY: This banner was created in collaboration with the following members of the Pacific Climate Warriors Melbourne: Arti Chetty, Erin Tuhanuku, Jade Louis Blair, Poro Bibi, Annie Cheffers along with Robati Harrison from the Pacific Climate Warriors Brisbane. 
The Pacific Climate Warriors (PCW) are part of 350 Pacific, the Pacific arm of the global climate change movement 350.org.  PCW are active in 18 Pacific Island Nations and diaspora communities in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Literally and figuratively we use cultural representations of our Pacific Island homes as a unique approach to empowering our people and to educate our global family on the many intersections at which climate change affects us. 
Warriors of the Pacific are rising peacefully to protect the Pacific Islands from climate change, to protect our communities and cultures, our lands and our waters. Warriors are rising together to weave the days to come - rarangaa taai aika ana roko - and build a just future together. 
The woven mat in this banner tells this story of the many stories intertwined across the Pacific, woven together by shared stories and a shared fight for justice. The Pasifika family is connected across oceans and we express this foundational connection through this banner as an act of solidarity with our PCW families who are at the coalface of the climate crisis. 
The tatau (double lines circling the centre) comes from the traditional tattoo designs of the people of Mungiki and Mungaba (Solomon Islands) and was originally inspired by the shell of a beetle which symbolises a protective shield.  The shield holds the stories of our ancestors forming the foundation to our work and protecting us as we fight for a #JustRecovery.  The scales are the scales of a fish and represent our connection to ocean and to each other.  The figures in the centre represent us, the weavers of today who weave the days to come together; to fight together; build a just future together: rarangaa taai aika ana roko. 
It is a time to be bold in charting a path to a genuinely healthier and more equitable future through a #JustRecovery framed in resilience, community, mana, family and justice.  Join us to create a just future together: your stories woven with ours - rarangaa taai aika ana roko. 
To support the work of the Pacific Climate Warriors: Sign the open letter petition for a #JustRecovery herehttps://350.org/just-recovery/
Donate to Vanuatu Climate Action Network  Cyclone Harold Relief recovery here: bank transfer at Bred Bank. Account name - GREEN WAVE VANUATU. Account number - 00696261010013. Swift code – BREDVUVU 
If you want to know more, or get involved, get in contact with Pacific Climate Warriors Melbourne: 350pacificmelbourne@gmail.com, follow on Facebook: Vanuatu Climate Action Network, Hashtag: #GreenWaveVanuatu and #OxfamInVanuatu
Below are images and quotes from the Pacific Climate Warriors about the banner and about the #JustRecovery campaign. 
Tal Fitzpatrick in collaboration with Brit Griffiths, Andreas, Peter, Kira, Finn
Stronger Together, 2020 
Textile banner made using up-cycled materials
100cm (h) x 150cm (w)
31 MAY: Did you know that 21.1% of Australian high school students identify as LGBTIQ+? Supporting these young people, no matter where in the country they are is Minus18. Minus18 aims to improve the health and wellbeing of, and provide a safe environment for, same-sex attracted and gender diverse young people in Australia, seeking to empower them to feel comfortable and confident in their sense of identity and assisting them to grow as happy, healthy individuals well into the future.  
Brit Griffiths is the volunteer and youth coordinator at @Minus18 and they, together a small crew of Minus18 volunteers including Andreas, Peter, Kira and Finn, brainstormed ideas for this banner. The group decided to focus on the message ‘stronger together’ to celebrate the strength and resilience of the LGBTIQ+ community. The group wanted to recognise both how far the community has come thanks to the efforts of queer activists who came before them, as well as how far there is to go. 
Made using the bright pastel rainbow colours of Minus18, this banner features five butterfly’s – stunning beings that undergo significant metamorphosis and change over their lifespan, remind us that it is possible to transform, transcend and thrive. In the words of Andreas:
"The banner means to me both beauty and integrity. It means to flourish around the concept of ones love and identity in a completely free and non-restricting manner. And above all, the banner means to do all of the above in a united way, drawing everyone together to represent our solidarity with absolutely everyone." - Andreas
Through their work, Minus18 are leading change, building social inclusion, and advocating for an Australia where all young people are safe, empowered, and surrounded by people that support them. Importantly, youth are at the forefront of every one of their programs, which nurture and empower the next generation of LGBTQIA+ leaders. Minus18 rely on partnerships and donations to provide Australians with their lifesaving resources, education programs and events. You can support their work by following their socials, sharing information about their work with the young people in your life, or by making a tax deductible donation via their website https://www.minus18.org.au/.
Signs For Our Times has been supported by Creative Victoria and City of Melbourne
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