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Obama Missing Person Posters Seen Worldwide

Unusual posters depicting former President Barack Obama have been appearing in public spaces worldwide since he left office on Jan. 20.

They resemble typical missing persons posters, reports the Houston Chronicle, but it is obviously a political statement with a sense of humor.

The headline reads: "Missing. Have you seen this man?" Then, after citing Obama's age, weight, height, hair color and eye color, the humor becomes more apparent. Bullet points note in jest that he was "last seen walking out of a large white house," that he "likes basketball and health care," and "answers to the name "Mr. President.'"

The posters are the brainchild of the anonymous folks behind the website, where the poster can be downloaded for printing, or shared via social media, where the image has gone viral.

The website explains:

Obama is missing because we miss him, not because he is physically missing. Additionally, the role he played as president for eight years is also 'missing'. Trump is severely unqualified to act as the President and Commander in Chief of the United States of America.

This poster, a display of political levity, is not intended to make light of our political atmosphere. It intends to validate the way in which we cope with feelings of anger, fear, sadness, confusion and helplessness through humor, as figures such as Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert do. Although this poster, at first glance, seems to be focused on the past, the subtle humor hints to a forward-thinking mentality. Being able to laugh about something uncomfortable or painful helps us move forward.

This poster also represents the importance of freedom of expression. It encourages us to be vocal and engage in political conversation. The election is over but democracy isn't. Speaking up can mean anything, from something as simple as liking a post to something more interactive like organizing a protest. Expression is vital on every level.

As the eminent design critic and historian Steven Heller notes on, "The humor and artistry of protest posters offer powerful commentary on political issues." Considering the wide circulation of the MissingObama campaign, it has succeeded in that regard.

Sources: Houston Chronicle, MissingObama.orgPrint / Photo credit: Instagram via Houston Chronicle

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