Along with the T-shirt, another way word is spreading is through illustrations of Danny Fenster being shared on social media using #BringDannyHome.
In an effort to spread awareness to help free detained journalist Danny Fenster, a professionally designed website at bringdannyhome.com is offering $20 T-shirts with proceeds going to a charity of Fenster’s choice after he gets home.
Fenster, managing editor for Frontier Myanmar, was detained on May 24 at Yangon International Airport shortly before boarding a flight on his way home to see family and friends. Fenster, currently being held in Insein Prison, is one of many journalists who has been detained, imprisoned or expelled from the country since a military coup took over Myanmar’s government in February.
The shirts are designed by Robbie Biederman, a Huntington Woods resident who is creative director at StockX, a Detroit e-commerce startup.
Biederman, a longtime friend of Danny Fenster’s brother Bryan, offered to assist Danny’s cause. Bryan suggested that he use his graphic design skills to design a T-shirt to spread awareness. Biederman was on board immediately.
“Bryan and I worked together on getting it out quickly; this was probably day two or three,” Biederman said. “It was really early on, and he wanted to help spread the word. I just wanted to help in any way I could.”
Biederman, with Bryan’s input, wanted the shirt design to have the patriotic feel of an old vintage campaign pin, specifically modeling it after President John F. Kennedy’s in 1960.
Along with the T-shirt, another way word is spreading is through illustrations of Fenster being shared on social media using #BringDannyHome. Some of the illustrations are also displayed on the bringdannyhome.com website.
The gallery of illustrations is coordinated by New Yorker cartoonist Amy Kurzweil, a 34-year-old cousin of the captive who lives in California. She and several other New York cartoonists have sketches on the site. The gallery also includes contributions from California, Connecticut, Texas, Illinois and Canada.
Biederman has participated with his own illustration (see below) and loves seeing the range of styles and skills for a great cause.
“It’s all for the greater cause of spreading the word, and I think the biggest thing we can do in a situation where we ultimately feel helpless is just making sure this story doesn’t fade and stays important,” Biederman said.
“Anything that’s clickable on social media that’s of interest is going to help this cause, so every day as more and more people contribute to the art, it’s more things for people to look at; and it’s just going to generate more interest and keep this story from fading because the most dangerous thing that can happen is this story goes away from the news cycle, which is an uphill battle.”