Yesterday at AIR, Foundland, a designers collective based in Amsterdam, joined the working team of Enacting Populism. Officially appointed visual designers for the whole project, they took part to the second and final semi-public event to present their work. Among their works they’ve talked about The X Factor - Television Persona, and about Sunshine is the Best Disinfectant.
In a recent interview they’ve been asked about Wilders’s success in the Netherlands and about the mechanism of populism. Here’s their answer.
Having analyzed the mechanism of populism, what can you say about the success of Wilder’s populist discourse?
Simply that populism works. The world is changing, voters are changing. They are more hybrid, and the choices they make are connected more with the media and the somewhat made up narratives of reality the media provides, than with economic division of class. The left needs to find new, more effective techniques to communicate, because nowadays it is all about communication and timing. And Wilders is excellent at timing. He knows exactly where and when to appear and how to create a myth about his persona and his ideas in the mediascape. He creates a myth by using fear and anxiety. Obama does the same, and creates a myth of hope. It is not about left or right, it is about playing the game and winning, through effective communication devices.