Happy are Those: The New Wave

Become a Suicide Bomber: Posters Ridicule ‘Hypocrisy of UK Military Recruiters’


20:39 10.02.2017(updated 21:06 10.02.2017)

“Become a Suicide Bomber,” says one with a picture of a nuclear submarine in the red painted in the background.

“The crew of our nuclear submarines are on a suicide mission to launch their missiles means death is certain, not just for them but for the millions of innocent people those bombs will obliterate, and for the rest of us too.”

The artist behind the posters, Darren Cullen, is no stranger to producing thought provoking pieces with his Pocket Money Loans creation recently installed at Banksy’s Dismaland.

“I’m interested in the way we make a distinction between Western states committing atrocities and terrorists committing atrocities, as if there’s something more moral in removing people’s heads with 10,000 pound [4,500 kilograms] bombs as opposed to chopping heads off with a knife,” Cullen told Sputnik.


“When I found out that the crew of a nuclear submarine are unlikely to survive a nuclear war it seemed like an interesting way to talk about Trident.”

“Trident hasn’t really been talked about very much among the public and Trident used to be about deterrent, nuclear weapons used to be about deterrent. But Trident is now about winning a nuclear war. They call is ‘counterforce’ to stop the enemy fighting back,” Cullen explains.


“One of Trident’s engineers resigned a while back because he saw it moving away from being a deterrent to a position of winning and that’s why Britain has a first strike policy refusing to rule out using nuclear weapons in war. This isn’t in the public conscience, I don’t think.”

Parodying the Propaganda

Cullen initially fancied a career in advertising before he began parodying propaganda with his own art.

“There’s something about using the language of advertising to point out the hypocrisy involved in the rhetoric used by military recruiters to try present military service as heroic — but the recruitment adverts don’t reveal the brutal nature of what soldiers have to witness,” he told Sputnik.

“The British establishment frames its political violence as somehow being more ethical and more moral than political violence displayed by a terrorist group. It makes us feel the good guys, but we haven’t been the good guys since the Second World War.”

The art work, Become A Suicide Bomber (2017), is published on spellingmistakescostlives.com. Anti-advertisement activist group, Special Patrol Group is responsible for sneaking the posters into bus shelters across London.

Darren Cullen intends to continue using poster art to prick the consciousness of the public and present an alternative message with his own artistic response to advertising rhetoric.



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