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Kill Devil

These labels were printed for a collaborative exhibition in June 2012, Commission for Treasonous Strategies w/ Claire & Tesar Freeman. The labels were applied to actual bottles of rum in the exhibit, and are available in a small edition as well.

I’m trying to get at some of the cynicism of contemporary alcohol marketing by linking trends in label designs to the history of alcohol as a key component in European and American colonialism. I pulled ideas from three main themes: the transportation of Africans to North America via the trans-Atlantic slave trade (Cap’n D’Wolf’s Middle Passage Rum), indentured servitude of working class Europeans on both slavers and the ships of the Royal Navy (Press Gang Rum), and the use of alcohol in the subjugation of Indigenous American peoples (Treaty Rum, Walking Purchase Special Reserve).


More by Shaun Slifer

Posts by Shaun Slifer



July 31, 2013

Petaluma, CA, USA (full image below, thanks Kevin!) DIYDPW is a weekly blog post highlighting global examples of Do It Yourself Department of Public Works projects. These are defined as any…