The Twelve Days of COVID

Objective:

Pressure Moderna to release taxpayer-funded research products and knowledge (namely, the safe, effective, life-saving vaccine “recipe”) to the public in order to promote global manufacturing and support efforts to end the pandemic.

The Project:

In creating a twist on this popular holiday carol, this new song deals with themes of social, political, and cultural criticisms that allow us to reflect on topics that call medical research institutions to action and force them to take morality, ethics, and the human condition into deeper consideration.

TRY THIS:

Sing it – even out of season

Revise the lyrics

What worked?

This song offered people a way to not only learn about how Moderna has contributed to the evil perpetuation of the vaccine apartheid, but this also offers people a way to engage in activism though caroling themselves or sharing videos produced by other leadership teams/choirs. With piano sheet music included, any group of people can sing along and add their voices to this platform.

Other Notes:

With the first version of this song focused on a satirical reflection of the state of the world, our second and final version of the song was enhanced with team-based efforts to improve its educational qualities and incite greater public outrage at the moral failings of Moderna as well as other general issues with the way Big Pharma operates in our society.

    A set of instructions exists on how to make this work
  • Original files can be provided for exhibition
  • The work can be reproduced on site with instructions (provided)

Reflections from Madeline Chung

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Every voice is powerful, and bringing about positive transformation in the world begins when we start using our voices. Individuals working together in solidarity can find new ways to become empowered, and with the power that is found in numbers, we can create meaningful, lasting changes in society that will enhance the lives of people surrounding us. Think big, and push for the changes that you want to see in the world.

About this project
Creators:
  • Madeline Chung, MBE
  • Laura Holzman

December, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing, Performance, Print, Video, Writing

United States, Cleveland

11×5 inches

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Download Original/High-Resolution File: Free-the-Vaccine-Group-Project.pdf

The Virus Will Use the Minutes We Lose!

Objective:

Get Moderna to share its vaccine-production knowledge with the World Health Organization.

The Project:

A poster about the American duty to help ramp up global vaccine production. It stresses the importance of sharing with the World Health Organization taxpayer-funded knowledge about how to make vaccines. It’s inspired by a WWII-era poster by Andrew Wyeth.

TRY THIS:

Print it and post it.

Customize the call to action.

What worked?

It is visually striking!

Other Notes:

It’s hard to pick just one location associated with this piece – it was a collaboration among people based in LA, Pittsburgh/Buffalo, Indianapolis, Maryland, Delaware/Philadelphia, and Boston.

    An original object can be provided for exhibition
  • The work can be reproduced on site with instructions (provided)

Links:

Reflections from Daria Bazzi

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

Upon being sent the original image and idea by Laura, I used photoshop to edit the image into a version that communicated what we were trying to express, and made different versions from there based on feedback from the team. Afterwards we set up a google doc for people to use as a resource if wanting to use the image in various formats.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Art history, design, messaging, different audience perspectives.

What were some of the responses to this work?

Some found it really cool and clever, others were a bit confused by the dated look.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Maybe a more thorough photoshopping/re-illustrating of the original image to bring home the message even more, perhaps put it on a billboard or in Times Square or something, animate it a bit.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Please feel free to build upon it! We provided editable versions of all assets for people to use as they please, I’m sure there are other creative ways and formats to pair with this concept.

About this project
Creators:
  • Daria Bazzi
  • Laura Holzman
  • Kisha Patterson
  • Vandhana Reddy
  • Maanasa Gurram
  • Jaya M.
  • Parthu K.

December, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing, Print

United States, Los Angeles

36 x 24 inches, variable

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Link to Original or High-Res file

A Guide to mRNA Wellness Therapy

Objective:

Playfully encourage those who are mildly vaccine hesitant (not anti-vaccine) because of fear, concerns about it not being “natural” or are just more familiar or more comfortable with wellness language. Also to model a more lighthearted way of engaging for those who are on the same side.

The Project:

A series of 10 images that talk about vaccines using the jargon and aesthetic of “wellness.”

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Make it specific to another community.

What worked?

What I think is funny is rarely what large populations think is funny, but apparently this resonated with a lot of people. It’s by far the most popular thing I’ve ever posted on instagram, by a factor of 7 in the first 48 hours. It was re-posted on some other accounts and in total over 11,000 people liked it, which means many more saw it.

Other Notes:

I have a history of irritation with scams, pseudoscience, the idea that things are “natural” or “unnatural”, etc. I’d also recently listened to an episode of Maintenance Phase about the “Wellness to QAnon Pipeline” that was still rattling around in my head.

Friends like Merith Basey, Stephen Duncombe, Jean Raillia, Dread Scott, and others saw early drafts and gave me some helpful feedback, which is how it got less mean.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Links:

Reflections from Steve Lambert

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

It was an idea I had late one night, made a note, and then couldn’t get it out of my head. It started with “wouldn’t it be funny if…” and I made an initial image as a proof of concept. Then I shared that image with a few friends and they reacted positively, so I kept honing it.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

The first draft ended with “GET FUCKING VACCINATED! You privileged, self-centered, cockwombles!” Merith taught me the word cockwomble. But mostly the collaborators relayed that they thought it could work well without the turn at the end. I thought maybe it would make it more cathartic and funny, but I think leaning the other direction helped it work.

What were some of the responses to this work?

It went crazy on Instagram.

“This is the funniest shit I’ve seen in so long I love it πŸ˜‚ so good!!!”

“I told my friend Michael from @bedsideroundz this was the best satire piece I’ve seen this year. πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†”

“I love this so much β€οΈβ€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ I his is incredible and worded in a way I would have loved to but have always been to angry to express without sounding like I’m on the attack πŸ˜‚”

“For some reason, it was the picture of avocados that made me laugh. This is so silly and so good πŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘”

There’s also comments on the post, tremendously positive.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Make print brochures to take to health food stores. Make cheesy video commercials and put them on tv and online.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Free stock photos and the right font are your friend. Work fast. There was a point in the middle I wasn’t sure it was funny at all because I’d been working too closely for too long. So keep testing with other people if it’s funny because you may not be able to know.

Also, I got an unexpected amount of comments. The straight up misinformation I would write a slam-dunk response to or just delete it. Some people asked legit questions. You can get a sense of how I handled it in the comments, but I also wrote up a summary for a friend that I can share too – reach out if needed.

About this project
Creators:

August, 2021

Image/graphic, Online/web thing

United States, Poughkeepsie

1600px Square

Creative Commons BY

“We’re Better Together” Stickers

Objective:

The European Citizen’s Initiative calls on the European Commission to make anti-pandemic vaccines and treatments a global public good, freely accessible to everyone. As the initiative needs 1 million signatures to be brought to the European Commission, it is important to appeal to the general public and get as many people to sign on as possible. We wanted to create a simple, but engaging sticker that would catch people’s attention in public spaces to persuade them to sign onto the petition.

The Project:

Our stickers follow the principle of Valentine’s Day cards, they show two vaccines that want to be together and provide a QR code to get them closer. The QR code redirects to the website of the Right2Cure European Citizen’s Initiative. We distributed these stickers all around European cities to get people to sign the petition.

TRY THIS:

Print it and stick it.

Make it specific to your community.

What worked?

The stickers are very cute and follow the color scheme of the Free the Vaccine campaign – that can help to get people’s attention.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Katharina Wolfenstetter

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

The idea started out when were brainstorming impossible ideas. Someone said that we should force politicians to have hearts. That evolved into sending them hearts. That then evolved into sending them some kind of Valentine’s Day card. But as we wanted to reach as many people as possible to sign onto the petition, we decided to go with stickers that follow the idea of a Valentine’s Day card, which could be distributed all around cities with the QR code of the petition on there.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Plaster every city in Europe with our stickers and hand them out to students for free – because students always like free stickers, especially when they are cute! πŸ™‚

About this project
Creators:
  • Katharina Wolfenstetter
  • Ludovico Caminati
  • Johanna Twittenhoff
  • Alessia Gonfroid
  • Julia Billian
  • Sophie Tragert
  • Max Wielenga
  • Elise Potthoff
  • Samira Shair
  • Maanasa Gurram

April, 2021

Image/graphic, Print

Germany, Munich

1098β€ŠΓ—β€Š1217 pixels

Creative Commons BY-NC

Link to Original or High-Res file

Our vaccine

Objective:

We want people to take a stand against vaccine nationalism by signing the European Citizen’s Initiative.

The Project:

Our video shows the contrast of our new reality during the pandemic and how life could be if we were all vaccinated. However not everyone has access to the vaccine. By supporting the European Citizen’s Initiative we can change that and make sure this pandemic ends.

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

What worked?

Our video was shared by the official Instagram account of the initiative.

Other Notes:

It was the first project from us as a group.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Links:

Reflections from Julia Billian

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Based on our idea we had to find fitting pictures. Then we put them in a video format, edited the video and added music and sound effects as well as the voiceover.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

Actually using the video as a commericial that would be played on TV would be great.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Have someone on your team who is a really good editor :D. Just kidding. As long as you find the resources, so where to look for free pictures, music and video clips and have a good idea, you will be fine. There are a lot of tools out there that can help you.

About this project
Creators:
  • Samira Shair
  • Ludovico Caminati
  • Kathi Wolfenstetter
  • Maanasa Gurram
  • Hannah Dawson
  • Max Wielenga
  • Alessia Gonfroid
  • Julia Billian
  • Johanna Twittenhoff
  • Owen Lukins
  • Sophie Tragert
  • Elise Potthoff

March, 2021

Video

Belgium, Brussels

1 min

Creative Commons BY

Vilomah

Objective:

To connect the current pandemic to the legacy of Jonas Salk

The Project:

An essay about the history of loss, and the importance of a free vaccine.

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Write an essay for a local publication.

What worked?

I really liked how the pictures and the essay made it more personal.

About this project
Creators:
  • Kisha Patterson

November, 2020

Writing

United States, Pittsburgh

8 1/2 X 11

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Download Original/High-Resolution File: Vilomah.edited.201119.docx-1.pdf

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Kisha Patterson

Protect everyone we can for everyone we couldn’t

Objective:

Find a visually compelling way to share a powerful message that other Free the Vaccine participants wrote. The text was initially drafted to motivate Columbia University to sign the Open Covid Pledge but we realized that it could also help a broader audience recognize the importance of making Covid tests, treatments, and vaccines as widely accessible as possible.

The Project:

Printmakers working with the Center for Artistic Activism designed this poster based on text that other Free the Vaccine members wrote in summer 2020.

TRY THIS:

Print it and post it.

Design it differently.

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

What worked?

Building on someone else’s ideas instead of starting from scratch – it’s a great example of Free the Vaccine’s iterative process.

Other Notes:

There are four variations in this series of Risograph prints. Each version was printed in an edition of 50 at Eureka! House in Kingston, NY. They were created to travel with the physical version of this exhibit.

    An original object can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from Free the Vaccine for Covid-19

About this project
Creators:
  • Willa Goettling
  • Mary Tremonte

November, 2020

Print

United States, Poughkeepsie

11 x 17 inches

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Big Heart

Objective:

The objective was to appeal to the University of Queensland to sign the Open Covid Pledge.

The Project:

Big heart was a stop motion animation made to represent the information that 13% of the world’s population has already pre-purchased over half of the world’s supply of promised covid vaccines and also that as public funding goes into research of the vaccine, we as citizens have a right to have a voice. This information was packaged up to appeal to The University of Queensland who we were targeting in our objectives.

TRY THIS:

Share it on social media. #FreeTheVaccine #PeoplesVaccine

Make it specific to your community.

What worked?

I think the work found a playful way to represent the ‘of the moment’ statistical information. It attempted to appeal to the sense of ‘doing the moral/right thing’ for the University.

About this project
Creators:
  • Tessa Marshall
  • Greg Giannis
  • zan griffith

October, 2020

Video

Australia, Melbourne

one minute

Public Domain

Link to Original or High-Res file

Other Notes:


This work was an extension of an idea from season one. In season one Tessa and Greg created a giant syringe playing on the idea of Australia’s love of big things.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Reflections from zan griffith

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

This work was playing on the idea of Australia’s love of big tourist icons. In season one a big syringe was built with this in mind. Stop motion was a useful way to reach an audience when you are in lockdown in Melbourne.

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

Tessa creates a podcast each week where she highlights the most relevant and up to date covid vaccine information. This was where i learnt the statistic i represented. Greg had compiled information that related to the Australian situation which highlighted that over $4 billion was used for covid vaccine development. I had done a few stop motions before and love to tell a story in short grabs.

What were some of the responses to this work?

It was posted on instagram and a few comments suggested that it was useful information. We never heard back from the University of Queensland who we sent emails to with the animation.

What would be your next steps, building on this idea, if you had a million dollars and all the time and skills in the world?

I love the idea of having a stop motion takeover day on social websites where all the participants of free the vaccine have a go at a stop motion with a free the vaccine message and we flood socials. i imagine some of the most successful stop motions would come from those who had never done one before.

If someone else were going to make/use/do something like this, what advice would you give them?

Have fun with it and treat it like an experiment.

D.C. Funk Rally

Objective:

To educate the public and advocate for a People’s Vaccine.

The Project:

A rally to mourn loss, celebrate life, and encourage our institutions to do better and provide a People’s Vaccine.

TRY THIS:

Make it specific to your community.

Organize one where you live.

What worked?

Images from the Funk Rally made it into national and international news.

Other Notes:

We started with a New Orleans Jazz-style funeral to mourn the overwhelming loss of life and then transitioned to a festive rally inspired by DC-based Go-Go music and 1970s fashion.

    Original files can be provided for exhibition

Links:

Reflections from Tayyiaba Farooq

What was the process/journey of creating this work?

The Funk Rally came out a need to represent the grim seriousness of the campaign and Trump’s failure are president to adequately combat the pandemic while also painting a picture of hope for the future. At first organizers had wanted to keep the tone very serious and somber, but together with other ally organizations we can up with theming of Funk and imagery from the 70s. The rally was also adapted from a traditional New Orleans Jazz Funeral where they do not only mourn the end, but celebrate the very concept of life. The inspiration of this went in to the color of parade decorations, the lab coats with flowers and inspirational quotes, as well as the displaying local music culture. Altogether we were able to create something that was full of life and solidarity for our community. The approach we had taken to demanding action on ending the pandemic and ensuring an accessible vaccine was unique to our rally and was derived from the principles of creative activism. This out of the box approach had really gotten the attention of people that would have not otherwise cared. It was a great example of ally organizations coming together to make something positive, and from my perspective really launched the idea of vaccine accessibility at the University of Maryland.

What were some of the responses to this work?

People were able to dance in the street, create a beautiful mural at the end, and receive positive attention from onlookers and those who featured us in the press. The imagery produced from the campaign is still being used, and just goes to show the impact this one event has had on the campaign at large.

About this project
Creators:
  • Free the Vaccine for Covid-19

October, 2020

Image/graphic, Performance

United States, Washington

Varies

Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Link to Original or High-Res file

A Covid-19 Vaccine Won’t Save The World.

Objective:

This images were the result of dynamic feedback from the DogOwl Lab, and combining of messages as well as the imagery of the globe, to create a new poster series for the public space.

The Project:

Various (three) panoramic, striking pictures of the globe taken from space, with the message in front in two parts:
“A COVID-19 Vaccine Won’t Save the World.” And then,
“Only A Free One Can Do That.”

TRY THIS:

Print it and post it.

Design it differently.

What worked?

The image was reused and adapted in several other contexts.

Other Notes:

NB — this work can be reproduced on site by printing on any material that seems appropriate to the curator!

  • Original files can be provided for exhibition
  • The work can be reproduced on site with instructions (provided)

Links:

  • N/A

Reflections from Sofia Weiss Goitiandia

What skills or perspectives did the collaborators bring to this?

The DogOwl Lab was super helpful. We kind of got on a role with combining messages and different imagery. These images were borne out of that.