Events

Campaign Strategies: Four Talks on Self-Organised Activism

Saturday 22 February, 1pm start

Rivington Place

London, UK

Past event

Celebrate the power of protest! Come along to Rivington Place and explore strategies for creating political pressure to further your cause.  Learn how to galvanise groups into direct action from our afternoon of free talks.

Find out more about the tools used by activists from photographs and DIY printing to tweeting. You’ll be able to see special campaign related archive material from The George Padmore Institute while New Beacon Books (Black culture specialists since 1966) will have a selection of publications to browse and buy.

You can also visit our free exhibition Congo Dialogues: Alice Seeley Harris and Sammy Baloji to discover why Alice Seeley Harris represents one of the earliest human rights campaigners in the world, and how Sammy’s work exposes the ongoing need for activism

Join us for one or more of the following:
1pm – 1.45pm  Analogue Activism: DIY before the Digital Era
2pm – 2.45pm  Archives and Activism: Why are Archives and Records so Valuable for any Activist?
3pm – 3.45pm  Art and Activism: The Role of Art in Campaigning and Direct Action
4pm – 4.45pm  Social Media Activism: A Guide to Online Tactics 

Free event, we recommend booking in advance to ensure a place. To book, phone us on 0207 749 1240 or email bookings@rivingtonplace.org

Rivington Place is in Shoreditch, London, and fully accessible.

Part of the exhibition

1pm – 1.45pm | Analogue Activism: DIY before the Digital Era

With Syd Shelton, founding member and photographer of Rock Against Racism (1977-81)

Eventbrite - Analogue Activism: DIY before the Digital Era

Discover how graphics were central to Rock Against Racism’s philosophy of all power to the imagination. Their tools were: paper, the typewriter, the photocopier, the darkroom, the photomechanical transfer camera, and the headlining machine. A massive technological change had taken place in the print industry with the move from hot metal letterpress to offset litho printing.

This gave graphic designers tools that liberated design, as much as Apple Macs did a decade later. Grids and a forced obsession with the rectilinear were out, and a new technology of cut and paste was making its contribution to an exciting and much more abstract aesthetic. The RAR fanzine, Temporary Hoarding became the main graphic interface for experimenting with these visual ideas.

Rock Against Racism (RAR) was a collection of political activists, artists, graphic designers, photographers, actors, writers, fashion designers, musicians and fans who came together to pool their energies and talents in the fight against the growth of racism and the National Front. In collaboration with UK reggae and punk bands, RAR members took on the orthodoxy through 5 carnivals and some 500 gigs throughout Britain.

About Syd Shelton
Syd is a British photographer and graphic designer based in Hove. He was a founding member and photographer of RAR, (1976 – 1981). During the 1980s, he co-edited, and was art director of, a series of photographic books 24 Hours in Los Angeles, and the award winning Day in the Life of London and Ireland: A Week in the Life of a Nation. His work is exhibited widely in Europe.

2pm – 2.45pm | Archives and Activism: Why are Archives and Records so Valuable for any Activist?

With Sarah Garrod, archivist at the George Padmore Institute

Eventbrite - Why are Archives and Records so Valuable for any Activist?

Archives and records are not just the products of activism but are an essential means of fashioning campaigns and strategies. Moreover, the nature of records makes them ideal weapons in the hands of activists. This illustrated talk will draw on examples of campaign documents from the George Padmore Institute (GPI) archive collections, such as the Black Parents Movement and the New Cross Massacre Campaign staged during the 1970s – 80s in London.

The GPI, based in Finsbury Park, is an archive housing collections relating to the Black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe from the 1960s onwards. The Institute was set up in 1991 by the activist John La Rose (1927-2006), founder of GPI’s sister organisation New Beacon Books, Britain’s first Black publisher and bookshop.

About Sarah Garrod
In her own words: ‘Throughout my career, I have learnt how to be a custodian of archives and records. But I have also learnt how to open up to public access records that would otherwise remain hidden from view. Campaign archives are particularly vulnerable to being covered up or lost but I have always been determined to uncover and give back that information to the community in some way. It should always be a two way process.

3 – 3.45pm | Art and Activism: The Role of Art in Campaigning and Direct Action

With Paula Serafini, researcher of contemporary artist activism

Eventbrite - Art and Activism: The Role of Art in Campaigning and Direct Action

Paula will introduce the concept of artistic activism or artivism as a way of engaging with political issues and causing social change. By examining a number of historical and contemporary case studies, you will discover the ways in which artistic practice can be a valuable strategy for activists, allowing and enhancing participation, creativity, communication, and emotional engagement.

About Paula Serafini
Paula is a PhD candidate at King’s College London, where she is researching contemporary artistic activism in the UK. In addition to her research, she works as a cultural manager, currently specialising in engagement and diversity, arts education, and social change. She is also involved in a series of art projects and campaigns, and teaches on the subject of art and politics.

4pm – 4.45pm | Social Media Activism: A Guide to Online Tactics

With Dr Paolo Gerbaudo, author of the book Tweets and the Streets: Social Media and Contemporary Activism

Eventbrite - Social Media Activism: A Guide to Online Tactics

In the recent wave of protest movements in the Arab World and in the West, activists have made ample use of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook as a means of counter-information and mobilisation.

Journalists have often created the impression that these tools would somehow automatically allow for new movements to rise. What is often overlooked is the immense amount of work required by activists using these channels.

Paolo will discuss the new forms of political work involved in the use of social media, including the production of content, interaction with the audience, scheduling of messages and the relationship with other social media channels.

This talk will provide practical insights for initiating your own social media campaigns and how to sustain them.

About Paolo Gerbaudo
Paolo is a Lecturer in Digital Culture and Society in the department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries at King’s College London. Previously, he was an Associate Lecturer in Journalism and Communication at Middlesex University, and an Adjunct Professor of Sociology at the American University in Cairo. Apart from his academic work Paolo has worked as a journalist covering social movements, political affairs and an environmental issues, and as a new media artist exhibiting at art festivals and shows.

Directions to Rivington Place

Address
Rivington Place
London
EC2A 3BA

Transport
Tubes: Old Street/Liverpool Street/Shoreditch High St
Buses: 43/48/55/205241/271 stop nearby

Contact
info@rivingtonplace.org
0207 749 1240

In partnership with

This event is a collaboration between Autograph ABP and the George Padmore Institute.

Autograph ABP is a charity that works internationally in photography, cultural identity, race, representation and human rights.

The George Padmore Institute is an archive, educational resource and research centre housing materials relating to the black community of Caribbean, African and Asian descent in Britain and continental Europe.

Hot to book

Free event, we recommend booking in advance to ensure a place.

Book a place for one or all of the talks using the buttons below, phone 0207 749 1240 or email bookings@rivingtonplace.org

Eventbrite - Analogue Activism: DIY before the Digital Era

Eventbrite - Why are Archives and Records so Valuable for any Activist?

Eventbrite - Art and Activism: The Role of Art in Campaigning and Direct Action

Eventbrite - Social Media Activism: A Guide to Online Tactics

  • Syd Shelton, Temporary Hoarding, 13 August 1977
  • Syd Shelton, Jubilee Street, Stepney, London, 1977