heather van winckle.com

Protest Signs
Before ever meeting my next door neighbor, I knew where she stood on a lot of social issues by how she decorated her front windows. A small 8.5x11 sheet of paper with a handwritten BLACK LIVES MATTER has been in her rightmost window longer than we’ve been neighbors. It’s not a showy protest sign, or a large political lawn sign, just a quiet protest for pedestrians walking down our quiet street. I’ve started collecting these throughout my neighborhood through photo documentation. They’re not pushy, or foreboding, just calm little notices that serve to normalize the sentiment within the community. On a quick 20 minute stroll, I found way more than I could have predicted. Being in a particularly politically homogenous region, the protester’s signs serve to highlight individual support for political beliefs, and reinforce those political ideas with all the communities members. But in a more diverse location, I question how the messages individuals could post in real space are received, and how they could possibly also engage in debate or have surprising resolutions to engage all members of a community.