I was invited on the Warrior Nation podcast by ForcesWatch, where we talked about my anti-recruitment art, Action Man: Battlefield Casualties, child soldiers in the British army, and the ways that Hollywood works with the Pentagon to turn movie fans into military recruits (as elaborated on in the below video by Pop Culture Detective)
Thanks again to Special Patrol Group for putting up my NUKE poster in bus stops around London recently. Check out all the other #SubvertTheCity interventions and get involved. In case anyone wants one I have limited edition prints of this poster available in my online shop it's also a fake ad in my Mini Daily Mail
Very happy to say my 'Great War' print has been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum for their poster collection.
They have the original 1915 poster already so it should make for a good companion piece.
It appeared in bus stops last year as part of a project in collaboration with Veterans For Peace UK marking 100 years since the end of the senseless slaughter of WWI.
I've made a very limited run of 30 of these prints available on my website: https://www.spellingmistakescostlives.com/product-page/great-war-limited-edition-giclee-print
You can support my work on Patreon here: www.patreon.com/spellingmistakescostlives
These posters I drew have started appearing on the underground thanks to Special Patrol Group. They were inspired by Jeremy Hunt talking about us sending aid to Yemen to deal with the consequences of the bombs we sold to drop on Yemen. A lot of the weapons we sold to Saudi Arabia were made by MBDA, which is a missile company co-owned by Airbus and BAE Systems. As well as the thousands killed in the US/UK backed war in Yemen, the naval blockade by Saudi Arabia is causing a famine the UN has described as the deadliest in decades, and that 8 million people are "right on the brink of famine". The US has dispatched ships to reinforce the blockade. The Saudis rely on UK and US support for the bombing campaign, we have military personnel over there picking targets, processing intelligence, refuelling and rearming planes. The British military has also been training Saudi troops to fight in Yemen and teaching battlefield tactics to Saudi officers. The UK sending £4 million of aid is pointless while we still support and encourage the causes of that famine. We need to end our support for this war and put and end to the blockade immediately.
My new exhibition EMPIRE AIR opens in Munich this Thursday 19th outside the Nationaltheater on Max-Joseph-Platz. Opening evening: https://www.facebook.com/events/165047364113758/ Exhibition runs from 20th-29th April https://www.facebook.com/events/462713417478828/
More photos etc as they appear will be posted here.
Hosted by Positive-Propaganda and the City of Munich Culture Department
I've been invited back to Germany by Positive Propaganda to open a travel agents outside the National Theatre in Munich later this month. 19th - 29th April. I've started an Instagram for the project you can follow at @empireair. More details on the project as they arise will be posted on the project page. You can find the Facebook event here.
I was asked by the Conservatives to design an election poster to set out their #planforbritain, which includes a commitment to first-use of nuclear weapons in whichever war Trump decides we're all going to die in.
The Daily Mail is FURIOUS that JEREMY CORBYN didn't come round my house and stop me drawing this anti-army recruitment comic back in 2013, the same comic that has the full SUPPORT of VETERANS for Peace UK. Even worse, I wrote SICK TWEETS about how Corbyn is GOOD in the PAST WEEK. Scientific proof, if science were even real, that CORBYN HATES TROOPS.
The Sun got hold of it too. I've posted a screen grab below as well as the text from the Mail article if you'd rather not give them ad revenue.
Daily Mail commenters occasionally put the hatred to one side to marvel instead at the nature of time and existence.
Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters have been selling sickening anti-military propaganda labelling soldiers ‘professional murderers’.
A spoof Army recruitment leaflet that joked about ‘free prosthetic limbs!’ was available at a rally next to where the party was signing up new members.
It makes fun of those who have lost loved ones, including the line: ‘For your parents, a free coffin filled to the brim with assorted pieces of soldier in their own gravy.’
A spoof Army recruitment leaflet that joked about ‘free prosthetic limbs!’ was available at a rally next to where the party was signing up new members
It also mocks the Royal British Legion and shows a cartoon of an injured sailor who has lost his arms and has a disfigured face.
The sale of the offensive booklet at a festival organised by supporters of Mr Corbyn comes as the Labour leader is criticised for his threat to scrap the country’s Trident nuclear deterrent.
The 20-page booklet entitled Join the Army: Like Prison But With More Fighting was on sale for £2 at the Take Back Control festival in East London last Saturday.
The event, organised by an offshoot of Mr Corbyn’s Momentum support group, was put on to bring together local activists ‘to the benefit of Labour’s campaigning capacity’.
Piles of ‘Join Labour’ forms and a party banner were on the table next to the stall where the anti-military booklet was sold.
On a page entitled ‘Become a professional murderer. Sign up today’, the booklet says military recruits will: ‘Learn the latest murdering techniques from our skilled instructors.’
It makes fun of those who have lost loved ones, including the line: ‘For your parents, a free coffin filled to the brim with assorted pieces of soldier in their own gravy'
It warns: ‘Caution: Although every effort will be taken to ensure your safety, professional murdering remains a high-risk activity and may result in your own personal murder or accidental death.’
A list of mock military medals shows honours labelled: ‘Threw a grenade really far’, ‘Strangled a man’, ‘Blew up a thing’, ‘Burnt a dog’, ‘Dug a hole’, and ‘Died in a hole’. It adds: ‘Collect points and medal tokens for your best murders. Why go to prison for murder when you can get paid for it instead?’
The Royal British Legion’s poppy logo is shown stained with blood with the words: ‘From this year the poppy is to be replaced with the venus flytrap due to it being a more accurate symbol of war: It smells of death, devours the innocent and consumes flesh.’
A picture of a skull in an Army helmet is captioned: ‘Did somebody say career prospects?’
Another cartoon shows a soldier saying: ‘Nothing quite beats the excitement of lying in a ditch crying for my mother, covered in bits of my best friend’s brain.’
It continues: ‘The Royal Navy’s primary purpose is blowing the teeth, arms and legs off child pirates and drug people.’
The booklet was produced by artist Darren Cullen, who has repeatedly tweeted his support for Mr Corbyn’s election campaign during the past week.
On his website, he describes his comic as: ‘An absurd and potentially offensive satire on military recruitment and the false promises that come with life (and death) in the Army.’
Former Army officer and Tory MP Johnny Mercer said: ‘It’s outrageous that Jeremy Corbyn’s personal campaign group are shamelessly mocking the members of our brave Armed Forces. ‘A collation of chaos led by Jeremy Corbyn would undermine our Armed Forces and refuse to authorise drone strikes on confirmed ISIS terrorists.’
Joe Todd, of Momentum offshoot The World Transformed, which organised the event, said: ‘Darren Cullen’s work on the Armed Forces was done in collaboration with Veterans for Peace who are ex-military service personnel.
‘I’m sure you’d agree that we should support ex-soldiers sharing their experiences.’
I designed the new Royal Navy recruitment poster that has started appearing around London. Budding recruits should visit royalnavy.org.uk for more information. Big thanks to Special Patrol Group for installation help. More photos and updated project page here.
Nuclear bombs are suicide bombs - it is impossible to use these weapons without also killing ourselves.
A country with nuclear weapons is prepared to destroy the world rather than lose a war. With a single weapon system we hold the planet hostage by the sort of terror you only get from thermonuclear missiles.
Terrorists are willing to commit suicide to brutally murder innocent people, but so are we. In fact, we’re about to spend £200 billion on upgrading our ability to do so.
The British government refuses to rule out first-use of nuclear weapons and has stated it may use them even if its ‘vital interests’ are threatened.
Due to NATO membership and our alleged Special Relationship, we’re also committed to a nuclear suicide pact with America.
The posters point budding recruits to a website at royalnavy.org.uk which demonstrates how the crew of a nuclear submarine must be prepared to destroy human civilisation on command.
On Sunday I had a stall of my work at Momentum's The World Transformed arts and politics festival at The Black-E in Liverpool. Some of my anti-army recruitment work was on display: 'Join the Army' and my 'Make Stuff Dead' mugs along with flyers for Action Man: Battlefield Casualties. This work is supported and endorsed by 100s of veterans, but why would the right-wing press let that get in the way of an opportunity to smear Jeremy Corbyn? My favourite part of the whole thing was Tory MP Johnny Mercer calling me a "Britain hating anarchist who knows the value for nothing" in The Sun's online article. The story was originally posted by Guido Fawkes and picked up by the Daily Mail who went fully haywire and claimed the stall was actually at the Labour party conference. But the journamislm required to find out that wasn't the case would have detracted from the DISGUSTED OUTRAGE.
It was also strange to see the press such as The Times claim soldiers were deeply offended by my 'Make Stuff Dead' mugs while my twitter feed was full of soldiers asking me where they could buy one. (Here, in case you were wondering)
Today Veterans for Peace UK have released a statement about the press reaction to this work. It is a powerful and eleoquent refutation of the media's use of soldiers for political ends. You can read the full thing on their website. Here's an excerpt:
"Let us be clear. The superb ‘Army, Be The Meat’ project and the ‘Action Man: Battlefield Casualties‘ films, which were launched 18 months ago, are nothing to do with Labour or Momentum.The credit belongs to the artist who conceived and created it and, spiritually, to the hundreds of veterans who endorsed it.
This work was conceived in response to years of dishonest army recruitment material and we continue to endorse it.The establishment response has shown two things.Firstly, it has highlighted the important and popular work done by Darren Cullen and VFP to educate people about the brutal reality of modern warfare and the possible negative outcomes of military service . For this we are grateful.
Secondly it has brought into the open the amateur journalism of sections of the press and the willingness of the elite to exploit soldiers and veterans for political capital.We might linger over the appalling journalism involved in this pathetic hit piece. In their jingoistic ardour for clicks, the reporters clearly did not even bother to check into the background of the project.
That this project was backed by hundreds of veterans – many of whom bear the wounds of active service in wars from D-Day to Libya – was as difficult to discover as typing words into a search engine and pressing enter.
We might also note that Johnny Mercer and Dan Jarvis, both former military officers turned politicians, both self-appointed “veteran’s champions”, used the Murdoch-owned Sun newspaper as a platform to attack the project and, by extension, attack the veterans involved in it.
This is the same newspaper group whose senior editorial staff acquired the personal details of dead soldiers, apparently by paying MoD officials."
As seen at Glastonbury and Roskilde festivals this summer.
Available as a poster or a postcard. The original artwork is also available for sale. Edition of 10, funds go towards the creation of a Thomas the Tank short film which will feature all of his loveable friends:
THOMAS THE TANK - Project page
The Action Man: Battlefield Casualties film I wrote for Veterans for Peace UK, directed by Price James (Agile Films) and featuring Matt Berry is now online. You can watch it above but please share our dedicated website www.battlefieldcasualties.co.uk which has facts about child recruitment in the British armed forces and details about our MP letter writing campaign.