May 1, 2017

Elegant Content, Creative Solutions, Impact You Can Bank On

SPECIALIZING IN VISUAL CONTENT & DIGITAL ART

You may be a genius at what you do but if your message isn't being seen or heard you won't be at it for long. Genius requires an audience, and in today's market you need to develop a distinctive voice with a visual identity that speaks loudly out of the digital cacophony and media kaleidoscope. It may be all about social media, but tools like infographics, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest also require a distinctive visual component and creative "look at me" approaches to get your prospects' attention. And, you need to marry that come-hither look with sticky content that keeps the prospect in your back pocket. That's what I'm here to help you do.

I've been creating get-noticed visual content for marketers for close to 25 years, and I can help your organization refine its voice to reach and persuade any targeted market of the value of your products and services. I've developed a distinctive approach for unique clients like Saturn and arts organizations, focusing on professional communication to increase exposure with direct authenticity, using both established and yet-unheard-of approaches that can make visual and social messaging work for your business, too. 


Let me work for you.

I'd love to assist your organization in the process of finding its voice and visual identity as well as a place in the world through the messages we craft together. I'll quickly study and understand your market to deliver approaches that best fit your objectives and your audience's specific desires. I work with clients to brainstorm original campaigns and on "bespoke creations" with the executive who already knows what he or she wants. With my extensive experience in managing relationships, understanding and teaching effective communication strategies, advanced writing performance, public relations know-how, digital expertise, and hands-on experience in design and multimedia practices, we can brainstorm miracles together and take your business to its deserved level of wow!


I also provide fully researched and sophisticatedly designed infographics 
under the imprint "Khangeroo."


Contact Me Today 
Kaitlin Hanger, Miami Beach FL

February 5, 2017

Follow My Political Action

I have just created a new website about the February 17, 2017 General Strike against Trump & his corporatist American cronies and other protest issues, if you are interested in becoming a demonstrator. The url is StrikeForDemocracy.com.

The website includes updates on the Movement "Strike4Democracy," how to participate on February 17 (the point is to not work, not spend money for 24 hours to protest and show consumer/voter power to Washington), protest tips, and related news.

You can find my website here.

Strike4Democracy has an official website at strike4democracy.com, a twitter presence, and a Facebook page. See details on my website.

December 4, 2016

When Umberto Eco Defines Facism, We Should Pay Attention

In his 1995 essay "Eternal Fascism", Umberto Eco lists several general properties of fascist ideology. He argues that "it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it." Eco's properties of Fascism include:

* "The Cult of Tradition," characterized by a blending of nationalistic beliefs, even at the risk of internal contradiction. 

* "The Rejection of Modernism," which views the rationalistic development of Western culture since the Enlightenment as a descent into regression. Eco distinguishes this from a rejection of technological advancement, as many fascist regimes cite their industrial potency as proof of the vitality of their system.

* "The Cult of Action for Action's Sake," which dictates that action is of value in itself, and should be taken without intellectual reflection. This, says Eco, is connected with anti-intellectualism and irrationalism, and often manifests in attacks on modern culture and science.

* "Disagreement should be Censored" – Fascism devalues intellectual discourse and critical reasoning as barriers to action; such analysis will expose the contradictions.

* "Fear of Difference," which fascism seeks to exploit, often in the form of racism or an appeal against foreigners and immigrants.

* "Appeal to a Frustrated Middle Class," promising uplift with corporatist values to a middle class fearing economic pressure from the demands and aspirations of lower social groups.

* "Obsession with a Plot," and the hyping-up of an enemy threat. This often combines an appeal to xenophobia with a fear of disloyalty and sabotage from marginalized groups living within the society.

* Fascist societies rhetorically cast their enemies as "at the same time too strong and too weak." On the one hand, fascists play up the power of certain disfavored elites to encourage in their followers a sense of grievance and humiliation. On the other hand, fascist leaders point to their decadence as proof of their  feebleness in the face of an overwhelming popular will.

* "Life is Warfare" – there must always be an enemy to fight. Both fascist Germany under Hitler and Italy under Mussolini worked first to organize and clean up their respective countries and then build the war machines that they later intended to and did use.

* "Contempt for the Weak," which is uncomfortably married to a chauvinistic popular elitism, in which every member of society is superior to outsiders by virtue of belonging to the in-group. 

* "Machismo'" which sublimates the difficult work of permanent war and heroism into the sexual sphere. Fascists thus hold "both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality."

* "Selective Populism" – The People, conceived monolithically, have a Common Will, distinct from and superior to the viewpoint of any individual. As no mass of people can ever be truly unanimous, the Leader holds himself out as the interpreter of the popular will (though truly he dictates it). Fascists use this concept to delegitimize democratic institutions they accuse of "no longer representing the Voice of the People."

* "Newspeak" – Fascism employs and promotes an impoverished vocabulary in order to limit critical reasoning.


December 3, 2016

What Might We Learn Today from the South African Freedom Charter?

Freedom Charter

We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people; that our people have been robbed of their birthright to land, liberty and peace by a form of government founded on injustice and inequality; that our country will never be prosperous or free until all our people live in brotherhood, enjoying equal rights and opportunities; that only a democratic state, based on the will of all the people, can secure to all their birthright without distinction of colour, race, sex or belief; And therefore, we, the people of South Africa, black and white together - equals, countrymen and brothers - adopt this Freedom Charter. And we pledge ourselves to strive together, sparing neither strength nor courage, until the democratic changes here set out have been won.

The People Shall Govern!

Every man and woman shall have the right to vote for and to stand as a candidate for all bodies which make laws;
All people shall be entitled to take part in the administration of the country;
The rights of the people shall be the same, regardless of race, colour or sex;
All bodies of minority rule, advisory boards, councils and authorities shall be replaced by democratic organs of self-government.

All National Groups Shall Have Equal Rights!

There shall be equal status in the bodies of state, in the courts and in the schools for all national groups and races;
All people shall have equal right to use their own languages, and to develop their own folk culture and customs;
All national groups shall be protected by law against insults to their race and national pride;
The preaching and practice of national, race or colour discrimination and contempt shall be a punishable crime;
All apartheid laws and practices shall be set aside.

The People Shall Share In The Country's Wealth!

The national wealth of our country, the heritage of all South Africans, shall be restored to the people;
The mineral wealth beneath the soil, the banks and monopoly industry shall be transferred to the ownership of the people as a whole;
All other industry and trade shall be controlled to assist the well-being of the people;
All people shall have equal rights to trade where they choose, to manufacture and to enter all trades, crafts and professions.

The Land Shall Be Shared Among Those Who Work It!

Restrictions of land ownership on a racial basis shall be ended, and all the land redivided amongst those who work it, to banish famine and land hunger;
The state shall help the peasants with implements, seed, tractors and dams to save the soil and assist the tillers;
Freedom of movement shall be guaranteed to all who work on the land;
All shall have the right to occupy land wherever they choose;
People shall not be robbed of their cattle, and forced labour and farm prisons shall be abolished.

All Shall Be Equal Before The Law!

No one shall be imprisoned, deported or restricted without a fair trial;
No one shall be condemned by the order of any Government official;
The courts shall be representative of all the people;
Imprisonment shall be only for serious crimes against the people, and shall aim at re-education, not vengeance;
The police force and army shall be open to all on an equal basis and shall be the helpers and protectors of the people;
All laws which discriminate on grounds of race, colour or belief shall be repealed.

All Shall Enjoy Equal Human Rights!

The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship and to educate their children;
The privacy of the house from police raids shall be protected by law;
All shall be free to travel without restriction from countryside to town, from province to province, and from South Africa abroad;
Pass Laws, permits and all other laws restricting these freedoms shall be abolished.

There Shall Be Work And Security!

All who work shall be free to form trade unions, to elect their officers and to make wage agreements with their employers;
The state shall recognise the right and duty of all to work, and to draw full unemployment benefits;
Men and women of all races shall receive equal pay for equal work;
There shall be a forty-hour working week, a national minimum wage, paid annual leave, and sick leave for all workers, and maternity leave on full pay for all working mothers;
Miners, domestic workers, farm workers and civil servants shall have the same rights as all others who work;
Child labour, compound labour, the tot system and contract labour shall be abolished.

The Doors Of Learning And Of Culture Shall Be Opened!

The government shall discover, develop and encourage national talent for the enhancement of our cultural life;
All the cultural treasures of mankind shall be open to all, by free exchange of books, ideas and contact with other lands;
The aim of education shall be to teach the youth to love their people and their culture, to honour human brotherhood, liberty and peace;
Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children;
Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit;
Adult illiteracy shall be ended by a mass state education plan;
Teachers shall have all the rights of other citizens;
The colour bar in cultural life, in sport and in education shall be abolished.

There Shall Be Houses, Security And Comfort!

All people shall have the right to live where they choose, to be decently housed, and to bring up their families in comfort and security;
Unused housing space to be made available to the people;
Rent and prices shall be lowered, food plentiful and no one shall go hungry;
A preventive health scheme shall be run by the state;
Free medical care and hospitalisation shall be provided for all, with special care for mothers and young children;
Slums shall be demolished, and new suburbs built where all have transport, roads, lighting, playing fields, creches and social centres;
The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state;
Rest, leisure and recreation shall be the right of all;
Fenced locations and ghettoes shall be abolished, and laws which break up families shall be repealed.

There Shall Be Peace And Friendship!

South Africa shall be a fully independent state, which respects the rights and sovereignty of all nations;
South Africa shall strive to maintain world peace and the settlement of all international disputes by negotiation-not war;
Peace and friendship amongst all our people shall be secured by upholding the equal rights, opportunities and status of all;
The people of the protectorates-Basutoland, Bechuanaland and Swaziland-shall be free to decide for themselves their own future;
The right of all the peoples of Africa to independence and self-government shall be recognized and shall be the basis of close co-operation.
Let all who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:
'THESE FREEDOMS WE WILL FIGHT FOR, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY.'
Adopted at the Congress of the People, Kliptown, South Africa, on 26 June 1955.[6]

November 21, 2016

Images from the Civil Rights Movement Sixties: You Can't Forget What is Still Happening

North of Dixie: Civil Rights Photography Beyond the South

$35.00 order from Getty Books

A newly published book of photos from the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s shows the brutality of the black fight for equal rights. Some of these photos never seen before.





Where are we headed? Or are we already there again?
  • North of Dixie: Civil Rights Photography Beyond the South

  • Mark Speltz
    With a preface by Deborah Willis

    
The history of the civil rights movement is commonly illustrated with well-known photographs from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma—leaving the visual story of the movement outside the South remaining to be told. In North of Dixie, historian Mark Speltz shines a light past the most iconic photographs of the era to focus on images of everyday activists who fought campaigns against segregation, police brutality, and job discrimination in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and many other cities.

    With images by photojournalists, artists, and activists, including Bob Adelman Charles Brittin, Diana Davies, Leonard Freed, Gordon Parks, and Art Shay, North of Dixie offers a broader and more complex view of the American civil rights movement than is usually presented by the media. North of Dixie also considers the camera as a tool that served both those in support of the movement and against it. Photographs inspired activists, galvanized public support, and implored local and national politicians to act, but they also provided means of surveillance and repression that were used against movement participants. North of Dixie brings to light numerous lesser-known images and illuminates the story of the civil rights movement in the American North and West.

    Mark Speltz is an author and historian who writes about civil rights photography, vernacular architecture, and Wisconsin culture and history. He is currently a senior historian at American Girl in Madison, Wisconsin. Deborah Willis is chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Fletcher, and MacArthur fellowships and was named one of the “100 Most Important People in Photography” byAmerican Photography magazine. 

    “A much-welcome corrective to standard histories, as well as journalistic coverage at the time, which focused on Jim Crow segregation in the South, especially as captured in some historic, disturbing and indelible images of the day.”
    New York Times
    "As the overwhelming negative issues of race persist in tearing away at the soul of our nation, America needs to be more enlightened on the history of this subject and how it continues to demand resolve morally and politically. As Dr. King often said, 'If the issue of race is not squarely debated and favorably brought to closure this nation will not survive.' North of Dixie makes this tragic story of our nation worthy of our attention. It helps us understand the ways in which this tragedy can be addressed. This opportunity should not be missed."
    —Harry Belafonte, singer, actor, and social activist

November 19, 2016

WE ARE FAMILY

A post-election open letter to anyone who 
has family or friends:

In the current political situation as I see my President-Elect embracing people into
his cabinet who have not only been open obstructionists of civil rights but have
suppressed voting rights of minorities, equated every person of Muslim faith with
evil, loudly spread ideas of white supremacism and anti-Semitism, called for the
imprisonment of LBGT people, and promoted torture as a form of truth-seeking, I
have found myself trying to wrap my brain around the fact that it hurts so much
more to hear these ideas or apathy to these ideas supported by friends or family 
members than it is to hear them from angry and non-compassionate strangers that 
I always knew existed out there and would run into from time to time in my daily life.

Why does it feel so much more of a betrayal to have a cousin post something on
Facebook about the evils of gay marriage than to see it painted anonymously on a
wall? Why does it disturb me so much more if a member of my extended family
feels there is nothing wrong with requiring Muslims to register their religion with
the Federal Government than when I hear it on CNN? Why does it break my heart
when someone I have held in my arms as a child or whose lap I sat on when I was
young cannot see the dangers of isolationism, white nationalism, and a lack of
compassion for those who are “Other” while I am able to read about it
somewhere in a pocket of rural conservatism with more calmness?

A gay pride march in Belfast.
I suspect it is because I feel these reactions as betrayals of values I once thought
we had in common. You hugged me. You said nice things to me, in some cases helped raise me or babysat me and showed me love. You laughed at my jokes. You sent me birthday cards. So how is it that I know as an out member of a gay minority that one form of oppression leads to others but you don’t take that
seriously—why would you choose to endanger me and people I love with your words? Why would you choose to endanger anyone who is merely different from you? I don’t understand how it is that people who know history cannot see how disparagement of one out group leads to disparagement of all out groups. People whose opinions I have previously valued who now espouse fear and increasing anger against Others leave me feeling moments of despair almost daily.





These are not dangerous people. They have been good role models and a caring
network. I know them. I have loved them. I forgive them for supporting
dangerous ideas, but forgiveness does not bring back that old feeling of security
that we had in each others’ support—that we had each others’ backs. How do I
separate the soul I know within such friends with the words that seem sometimes
ill thought out and reactionary? I have to confess, it is very difficult and for
someone who is perhaps too introspective, what hurts me most about the current
conflicts in politics is not as much about letting go of my idealism about
America but releasing the idealism I felt about people I once considered to be tolerant 
and compassionate.

I am trying very hard to understand the other point of view. I get the motivation
behind the anger (at least some of it), and the frustration. I have been frustrated
and angry too. I just find it so hard to accept the reaction--the support of wrong
and misdirected “solutions” that will only drive further wedges between the
populations of a divided country and create graver problems.

I want to understand you, but my first priority now is to serve in the effort to
uphold civil rights for all people, because, for me, American civil liberties are in
emergency mode. We’ve been here before. Perhaps we’ve always been here.
Privilege, racism, greed, dishonesty, the me-first attitudes of powerful people like
Trump, Bannon, the Koch brothers have been there all along, and we have not
dealt with it effectively, whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent,
or none of the above. But things are spiraling now at a very fast speed toward the
narrowing of human liberties, not as Trump would have us believe, toward a
greater America. It is a closed-off America, a wealth-focused America, a hardline
take-no-prisoners America and frankly I am scared.

I am working to understand you, but I am also working to protect what for me has
always been the American Way—a way of tolerance, caring, and help-your-fellow brothers
and sisters compassion and time is running out. I may be guilty of the sin
of idealism. But I know myself well enough to know I cannot change that about
myself. I can listen. Try to understand. Try to be sympathetic. But I cannot not
fight. Many lives depend on it. You will, some of you, see that as fatalism, overreaction,
or a Cassandra complex. That is your right. But please try to understand
me as well. I was first introduced to films of the aftermath of the Holocaust in the
early seventies in a history class. I became so upset that I had to leave and the
teacher called my mother at home to find out if I was okay. I was not. But I had
learned something that would affect my heart for the rest of my life and I thank
him for that. I was a tiny preschooler when I watched black and white civil rights
marchers in the south sprayed with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs 
on the nightly news merely for asking for equal rights and equivalent respect. 
Even then I knew this was messed up. And I had nightmares where that footage 
replayed in my sleep for years. Don’t tell me I’m a cupcake or a snowflake or a 
whiny little bitch, and in return I will not call you an idiot or uneducated. 

Please understand, intolerance has affected my life daily. My belief that bias 
can be overcome with time has been the (I admit it, idealistic) north star of 
my life. Working for NOW in the 80s to ratify the equal rights amendment to 
never see it happen hurt. Attending gay pride parades where bystanders threw 
any available objects at the marchers hurt. Attending a women’s march in 
Washington and having posters of fetuses shoved in my face with angry accusations 
when at the time I had not even yet decided how I felt about abortion*, hurt. Sitting 
on a tour bus in San Francisco beside an elderly couple who were clearly homophobic 
and having to listen to them loudly declare as we went through the Castro 
district that these people didn’t have jobs, probably didn’t even have homes 
because they were too lazy to work, and probably took shifts sleeping in the 
same bed hurt. Just last week sitting in a restaurant across from a couple 
disparaging Hillary as an evil bitch, describing Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani 
and Mike Flynn as American heroes and talking about how it was time to go 
“visit their lady friend who has all the guns” makes my life still a living practice 
in patience and a constant search for hope; it felt scary. Last night 4 drunk men
in my usually quiet neighborhood were arguing and shouting and pushing
one another about. Another man stopped his van at the side of the road beside me 
a block away, got out of the vehicle and stood there staring at me for a moment, then went 
to his trunk. I wondered if he was getting a a rifle. It turns out he just wanted his 
jacket, but that is the edge these events have put us on. My heart was racing. 
I felt a sense of doom. I knew this was crazy, but there is a psychology to this.

I hope to figure this hurt out. To let people have their opinions and still respect
them as good people. But I do not hope that they will not change their views. We
can agree to disagree, but we will end up having fewer conversations. That
saddens me. But those of us who want a more tolerant world have to conserve our
energy for the arguments in the public sphere that will make a difference for the
next generation.

Forgive us for pulling back. I have lived long enough to know that people come
around to a better understanding of each other and each other’s viewpoints with
time. Not always. But often enough. In the meantime I will look for our
commonalities and celebrate those. But I will not be silent. I am learning to talk
about these things without anger. I am truly working at it. Respect me for that
and I will respect you for the same.

Kaitlin Hanger
Nov 19 2016

*The aggression of those anti-abortion protesters at the first Women's March on Washington did, in fact, help me make up my mind about the issue. It seemed clear to me that any movement whose members shows such hatred, who verbally attacked me without stopping to ask me my views, who were so obviously motivated by rage, decided my mind for me. If that represented the anti-abortion side, I wanted nothing to do with it. It was abnormal, displaced hatred. That, plus a friend's boyfriend cornering me in a bar and insisting it was my duty as a woman to have children and offering his services to get the job done finally decided me. Hatred of people who believe differently than you does not motivate them to change their minds.

POSTSCRIPT: 

Since Donald Trump won the Republican primary I have found myself nearly every day thinking about my dear friend and adopted little sister Priscilla Meddaugh who died two Christmas Eve's ago unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage. Priscilla dedicated her life to Civil Liberties and wrote respected articles on White Supremacism and hate speech as it was proliferating on the Internet. So many times I have thought that I was almost glad Priscilla--a true progressive--wasn't here to see this election as it unfolded. It would have broken her heart. But now, I miss her more than ever and can't help but think what an inspiration she would have been to her students and her friends today and how she would have organized us to action.


Priscilla, in honor of your friendship, I promise to do everything I can to keep the gadfly in me buzzing. I miss you. And to Dr. Jack Kay, Priscilla's mentor, who died just a few months after her, you are still an inspiration. Jack infiltrated the KKK as a young, Jewish graduate student, posing as a member under great danger to himself, to complete a profound ethnography on their practices and persuasive rhetoric. May there be more Priscillas and Dr. Kays in our lives in these difficult times.


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