On 17 February 2019, two days after Theresa May’s Government had been defeated for the second time on her Brexit deal with the EU, journalist Tom Peck wrote an article in The Independent on the British Prime Minister. Peck likened her to the rugged Nokia 5210, a shockproof, water-resistant mobile phone renowned for its indestructibility.
Fascinated by this I looked up the Nokia 5210 and started reading old reviews from 2002. Bizarre as it seemed, the journalist had hit on something that resonated: the words used to describe the phone in the reviews somehow seemed to speak of Theresa May and the political situation.
I used some of these words in the digitally-designed postcards. Another element, the unusually shaped “on” and “off” buttons of the Nokia phone, suggested people shouting; they represent the “yes” and “no” protests seen daily in the press at that time.
After two more defeats, May proved not Peck wrong, resigning on May 24, 2019.
Meanwhile, mobiles have come a long way since the fabulously retro orange Nokia 5210, Peck’s quote, no doubt forgotten by most, has been buried by the 24-hour news cycle, and postcards are fast becoming a nostalgic thing of the past.