The anti-war protests of the 1960s and early 1970s will be the topic of an engaging discussion forum to take place at The Imperial War Museum, London on Sunday 15th May from 2.00 until 4.00 pm. Former Labour MP and Cabinet Minister, Tony Benn will be a key member of the panel, leading the discussion and sharing his thoughts on the political unrest and anti-war activity during his time in government. Organised by Full Spectrum Productions, the event is free and open to all members of the community. The forum is part of the 'Hanging Out' project, funded by a grant of just over £150,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Full Spectrum Productions is looking for 200 participants to attend the discussion forum and join in the debate. Older citizens will get the chance to discuss the impact the anti-war movement had on them, their involvement, and how the quest for world peace influenced their lives in the 1960s and 1970s. The younger generation (aged 16 to 25) will bring the debate up to date, with their views and experiences on the protests of today, including the tuition fee demonstrations and Iraq War protests.
Commenting on the event, Tony Benn said, “The strength of feeling by young people against injustice and war is as strong today with new forms of communication as it was in the 1960s and 70s. The Hanging Out forum will be an opportunity to explore the importance of youth protest then and now.” Broadcaster and historian Alex Pascall OBE and former youth CND member Mike Bieber will be joining the panel, along with 3 Politics and Social Affairs university students. BBC London's Special Correspondent Kurt Barling, will be the presenter for the event.
The discussion will be filmed and included in a documentary to be premiered at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in 2012. There will also be the opportunity for those who lived through the anti-war protests in the 1960s and 1970s to retell their stories in a filmed one-to-one interview for the documentary.
The information gathered from this event will be included in a special edition book (also to be launched at the V&A). The publication will be free to secondary schools, colleges, libraries and museums.
Venue: The Cinema, Imperial War Museum London, Lambeth Road, SE1 6HZ
Date: Sunday 15th May 2011
Time: 2.00 until 4.00 pm, to be followed by afternoon tea
This design workshop was held at one of London’s leading museums for the collecting and archiving of fashion history: the Victoria and Albert Museum. Set in the Sackler Centre, the aim of this one of two days workshops, was to learn more about the history of protest art in posters and source anti-war protest images with a view to students producing their own t-shirt designs. The production of these designs will take place at the end of May 2011.
”it was very informative and incredible fun”
“inspired me hugely”
This prestigious art venue was the perfect backdrop to what was a riveting two hour visual journey through some of the key highlights in the development of protest art in posters.
“I met interesting people who were supportive and I could ask opinions from. Constructive advice was also given from fellow students”
The students were extremely privileged to have three of the UK’s leading authorities on protest poster art. They included two art historians: print curator and author of The Power of the Poster, Margaret Timmins; V & A print curator Caroline Flood and poster artist and director of the London Print Studio, John Philips.
”A lot of it was new to me despite my design background”
Margaret began the overview of the history of poster art with a succinct and enthusiastic introduction to the origins of the art form starting in France in the 1870’s when colour lithography was pioneered. Touching on one of the greats of that period, she shared the then highly fashionable and now internationally iconic posters of Toulouse-Lautrec.
“I gained a greater understanding of working with a range of ages and people”
The student’s were not disappointed as they revealed that they: “We had high expectations and the presentation did not fail in reaching them” and “The presentation combined facts, arts and politics all together”.
“I learnt a lot about printing and found it extremely informative”
This was seen in student’s being shown a variety of anti-war protest posters from the 1st World War, Vietnam War and the Soviet Revolution. The commentary was rich in revealing world history and the critical role poster art played in influencing political change through the production of posters with controversial anti-war and anti-racism messages.
One of the most powerful was Larry Dunst’s poster entitled, ‘I Want Out’, where a battered and bloodied image of Uncle Sam with his hand stretched out towards the audience is captivating (1971/US). The context of poor black soldiers on the frontline dying and the need to influence white middle America to oppose the war was clearly articulated through the depiction of a dishevelled Uncle Sam –an old white man who is an iconic symbol of white America. Students found this"incredibly fascinating at a visual level”.
“I never looked at posters in so much depth!”
"I found the input from the director of the London Print Studios very inspiring and feel it worked to broaden my knowledge of the history and process of poster design. The process of making posters from someone who did it first hand was very valuable”
The images presented were an eclectic mix which charted a timeline that began in the 1880’s and ended in the 1990’s with subversive anti-war posters of the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. Equally, the students viewed a lot of pop art promoting music album covers (Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan) to cultural events and local community events (Anti Nazi League’s, Rock Against Racism music festival).
This led to student’s comparing these historic posters with contemporary posters. They said that. “unlike today’s poster, bright colours show the impact that posters can have. Posters were far more artistic in the past, now it’s more photography”.
”I found the input from the director of the LPS very inspiring and feel it worked to broaden my knowledge of the history and process of poster design”
John Philip’s presence charged the atmosphere with a passion for poster art that was infectious. He has dedicated the last 40-years of his life to promoting the art form through his career as an artist. John’s contribution was highly authentic and gave the students an excellent grounding in the historical context of all the posters he analysed – some, his own works. Most insightful was his before and after sketches where he shared with the audience a draft of some of his protest art posters and how the ideas and images are shaped followed by the final work of art. One student confessed that: “a lot of it was new to me despite my design background”.
”It was great to learn the process from a professional”
All the students agreed that they enjoyed the session and have lots of inspirational ideas for their individual poster designs.