Photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has created a series of posters to support the campaign to stay within the EU.
Writing on his website, Tillmans spoke of the “horror the rightwards drift and anti-EU sentiment brewing across Europe”, referring to the Netherlands’ referendum and the UK's prospective departure from the EU as a “real risk”.
The German artist and Turner Prize winner also criticised the pro-EU campaign and its proponents’ lack of activity, calling for the maximisation of voter turnout to be made an absolute priority. He wrote: “The official ‘Remain’ campaign feels lame and is lacking in passion. It also lacks an active drive to get voters registered.”
The poster series, worked on by himself as well as assistants in his London and Berlin studios, was brought to life because of the nearing voter registration deadline of June 7. Tillmans continued: “Everyone’s grannies registered their vote long ago, but students no longer get automatically registered by their unis. This is because of a new law brought in by the Conservatives that makes it possible for them to disenfranchise up to 800,000 students, who as a group tend to move around a lot more and so drop off the voter register easily.”
Calling it a “one-in-a-generation moment”, Tillman pointed out the political consequences, should the brexit happen. He drew attention to the alleged agenda of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and far-right parties “funded by Russia” to weaken the EU.
Tillmans, who will be honoured with a restrospective in the Tate Modern later this year, is known for an earth-spanning portfolio of work, and recently opened up his Between Bridges project space as a forum to address the European refugee crisis. His earlier pieces have included intimate snapshot portraits of friends, to still life of watermelon and an astrophotography series, all inspired by his own political causes.
To sum up his cause for staying in the European Union, he signed off: “It’s a flawed and problematic institution, but on the whole it stands for a democratic worldview, human rights and favours cooperation over confrontation.”