Design Duty: Artists as Activists

Art assumes a crucial role in our encounter with adversity. Artists, through their distinctive expressions, depict the societal challenges encountered during global, national, or communal crises. Similar to journalists writing Op-Eds for newspapers, artists provide commentary on the prevailing circumstances. They embody the zeitgeist—the spirit of the times—during a nation’s crisis, illustrating both the despair and a yearning for resolution, hoping for a future marked by peace in the region.

The Design Duty platform serves as a channel for graphic artists in Israel to articulate the pain, anger, shock, and sadness experienced on October 7 and its aftermath. Many moving and poignant works were swiftly and organically disseminated across social networks, transforming them into both an informative tool and a medium for expressing solidarity. New images are regularly uploaded as the situation evolves.



1. Do you notice any recurring symbols?

2. What might these symbols represent? Are they Israeli? Jewish? Universal?

3. Which images appeal to you and why?

4. What feelings do they evoke?

5. How do the artists use color? Words?

6. Do any of these images look familiar to you?

7. Would you hang one of these in your school/home/office? If so, which one?

8. Which image(s) resonates with you most?

9. What roles do gender/age play in these images?

10. What are the topics evoked in these images?



1. What are my goals?

2. How might I use these images to support my goals?

3. How do I imagine participants interacting with/using these images?

4. Which images should I use?

5. What images are not here that I could add?

While each of these images stands alone, each one tells a story. What is the story being told?


  • Create captions for one (or more) image(s).
  • Collect several images to tell a story.
  • Are there stories that are absent from the collection?

As you may notice while perusing the images, several of them are remakes of famous works of art, and some use famous quotes or lines from songs.

  • Why might the artist have selected the work of art or quote?
  • What is the message they are trying to convey?
  • Has this work of art or quote been remade or used for other purposes? If so, what?


Select a famous work of art and revise it to reflect your feelings and/or your solidarity with Israel.

Choose some of the images to display on the walls of your classroom, school, synagogue, etc. You might leave markers and post-it notes for passers-by to record thoughts or emotions or even to add a caption. There are enough posters to change them regularly.

Thinking Routines are simple and engaging strategies designed to deepen learners’ thinking about the theme or event at hand. They encourage observation, exploration, reflection, sharing, questioning, reasoning, and acceptance of different viewpoints.

For our purpose, we chose one routine that is suitable for this educational resource, but there are many others that teachers might choose to implement.

Each thinking routine starts with looking at the artwork silently for at least one whole minute.

Take time to look at the image and use these as prompts:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?
  • Do you think it conveys the present situation in Israel?

Are there any other symbols that are repeated? What are they? What do they represent?

Create a poster/image utilizing these or other symbols to convey your interpretation of the present situation in Israel.



Remembrance: Red flowers, such as anemones and poppies, are often associated with remembrance and memorialization. In Israel, where the memory of fallen soldiers and victims of conflicts is significant, red flowers are a symbol of the blood shed by those who sacrificed their lives for their country. On Yom Hazikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day, one of the most distinctive symbols is a sticker with the word yizkor, set against a background of clouds and a bold, red flower.

Geographic Locations: Darom Adom (Red South) is an annual festival held in the winter during the Anemone (Kalanit) flower’s blooming season in the northern Negev and around the Gaza border.

Early Warning System: Tzevah Adom (Red Alert, literally Red Color) is an early-warning radar system set to warn civilians of an imminent rocket attack in the kibbutzim and towns around the Gaza border.


Biblical Symbol: In Judaism, the dove is prominently featured in the story of Noah’s Ark as recounted in the Book of Genesis. According to the biblical account, after the floodwaters receded, Noah released a dove to find dry land. The dove returned carrying an olive branch, signaling that the flood waters had subsided and symbolizing peace and renewal. This image of the dove with an olive branch has become an enduring symbol of peace.

Symbol of Peace: In the modern context of the State of Israel, the dove continues to be a symbol of peace and hope. It is often used in various artistic expressions, such as Israel’s Independence Day posters, paintings, sculptures, and logos, to convey a message of reconciliation and coexistence in the region. The image of a dove with an olive branch is also frequently associated with peace initiatives in the Middle East.

Beyond its religious and historical significance, the dove’s symbolism aligns with the aspirations for peace and stability in the region. It serves as a reminder of the importance of dialogue, understanding, and efforts to resolve conflicts peacefully.



There are currently more than 300 unique images on the Design Duty site. The iCenter has highlighted a smaller collection of images below to help get you started on your exploratory journey.

Another option is to view them as a:

In making these selections, every effort was made to ensure the prevalent symbols, imagery, and messages in the collection were represented. This is a living site and images are constantly being added, feel free to go beyond The iCenter’s selection and consider making your own!

תחנות יסוד קשורות בתחום החינוך לישראל

Related Building Blocks of Israel Education