Poster Boy: Memoir of Art and Politics


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I’ve stuck up thousands of posters across Australia to interrogate our national identity. With each, the response has grown. You might expect I have unshakable convictions about social justice, but I don’t. I reject the label ‘activist’. So why do what I do? Maybe it’s time I made sense of my motivations.

Artist Peter Drew wanted a better Australia. In 2013, frustrated at the political discussion around asylum seekers, he put up a poster, commenting on Australia’s offshore detention. What followed was an outpouring of community support, and a national, then global, following for his art.

In this irresistible and unexpected memoir, Peter Drew traces the links between his creative and personal lives, and discovers surprising parallels between Australia’s dark, unacknowledged past and the unspoken conflict at the core of his own family. His relationship with his father had been shaped by an outdated Australian machismo – a mix of bravado, inadequacy and shame that not only affects sons and their fathers, but informs social relations more broadly, including the way we as a nation treat outsiders.

Told with humor, sincerity and an attentive eye, Peter’s story is both intimate and inclusive, drawing a parallel between our personal relationships and Australia’s national narratives. This is a book about family and identity, about the lies we tell ourselves and the past we bury. It is an expedition to be a better citizen of his country.

Author: Peter Drew
ISBN: 9781760641337
Publisher: Black Inc
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 256