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The object of protest

Jul 23

Written by:
23/07/2014 10:33  RssIcon

Disobedient Objects Exhibition

The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London is about to curate a ground breaking new exhibition: a collection of objects made by grassroots social movements from all over the world as tools of social change.  This is the first time that such an exhibition has been assembled at an established museum.  

The pieces on display are not created by individual 'professionals' from the world of art and design, rather they are collaborative creations - imaginative, often humorous, subversive and visceral.

Focusing on the period from the late 1970s until the present day, many of these Disobedient Objects were created using limited resources: a scrawled-on dollar, parts of bicycles and sound systems welded together, beautiful banners with stitches carefully sewn by many hands. It is a celebration of disobedience, of people who question authority.  

Martin Roth, Director of the V&A said: “This is a brave and unusual exhibition; these are brave and unusual designers.  We are proud to present their work.”



An eclectic collection


copyright  Blanca Garcia

“Gaybashers, Come and Get It”, banner from 2011 designed by L J Roberts against homophobia in the USA.



Copyright, The Victoria & Albert Museum.

Dolls of the Zapatista Revolution from 1994.  After the revolution, Chiapas a permanent autonomous region, was created in Mexico. 



copyright: Jonathan Slaff

Bread & Puppet are a politically radical puppet theatre with their origins in New York's Lower East side.  Originally serving sourdough bread to the audience at their first performances, they used their puppets for political activism creating large scale outdoor pageants protesting against the Vietnam war.  They continue to make puppets and perform today. 



copyright Andy Dao and Ivan Cash


“Occupy George” dollar bill, 2011.  Infographic stamped on a dollar note, informing the public of America's economic disparities.  



Copyright:The Victoria & Albert Museum.

Bone china with transfers bearing the emblem of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a nice cup of social change in crockery fit for a Suffragette! 



Copyright Coral Stoakes / Victoria and Albert Museum

“I wish my boyfriend was as dirty as your policies”. Placard protesting against education cuts and ever-rising tuition fees – with a smattering of wishful thinking - in London, 2011.



Disobedient Objects is a free exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum from 26th July 2014 until 1st February 2015.  The V&A is open daily from 10.00am – 17.45 and until 22.00 on Fridays. 






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