The Movement Part III: Defining Images

Movements need images. Whether those images are pictures or stylized words, images can summarize a movement’s message, can reinforce the movement’s name, can be an integral part of the movement’s overall identity, and can even be integrated with a movement’s theatrics. Consider the following images:


We recognize them all. In some cases we recognize the specific image because it is a logo. In other cases the image holds a particularly stylized name of the movement and is self-defining. In still other cases the people in the image wear a costume or act symbolically (fist in the air, eg) in a way associated with the movement.

One of the images is very recent. The Women’s March featured coordinated pink pussy hats that have become defining images of that march and that organization. And it happened almost instantaneously – the Women’s March was only a couple weeks ago.

The Indivisible movement needs logos, actions, and/or costumes. These images, actions, and costumes — if coordinated across issues and geographies — will help reinforce the power of the movement.

The images need to be symbolic. Consider the following as a symbol for the Indivisible movement:


The image accomplishes several things:

  • It captures the raised-fist imagery of recent left-leaning political movements and hints at the movement’s historic legitimacy with the quill image (referencing stylized images of the Constitution’s preamble with a quill next to it).
  • It captures the idea of togetherness as it is an image of two people holding hands, indivisible.
  • It is something that can be acted out – just as the Black Lives Matter movement captured a raised fist as part of its printed imagery and as part of the actions of members of the movement. Imagine the power of an image of people holding hands in protest and solidarity all across America.

This is not to propose this specific image as the image of the Indivisible movement — use of the word “indivisible” in a consistent font, style, and color could accomplish similar goals. The intent of the above illustration is to show how an image can capture some of a movement’s truths, help establish legitimacy and identity, and lead to theatrics that help define the movement.

Movements without an identity are just collections of people on the street or in a room. With an identity comes power, comes a message, comes a sense of collective momentum and togetherness. Whatever our imagery is, whatever our theatrics are, we should not hesitate to employ them.

For related content see The Movement Part I: Where is the Movement?, which discusses the broad need for a progressive identity, and The Movement Part II: Naming the Movement.


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