The Victoria and Albert Museum’s (V&A) current exhibition, Disobedient Objects, explores the role of objects in protest, activism and movements for social change. Uniquely, these objects have been loaned from activist groups from all over the world, with many rarely before seen in a museum context. (The Double Negative)
There is something very curious about the placement of this exhibition. A collection of grassroots protest tools, placed in the marble-clad grandeur of the V&A (a place named after an Empress and her consort) jars, somewhat. As I enter the show through a gigantic gift shop, with Disobedient Object books lining the shelves, I can’t help but wonder if ‘packaging’ these items of struggle isn’t just plain crass. ( The Double Negative)
The inflatable cobblestone is a large blow up silver cube. It was devised by the Eclectic Electric Collective and used during strikes and protests in Berlin and Barcelona in 2012. And may pop up at a protest near you some time soon. Designed to be thrown at the police instead of actual cobblestones – the traditional protest ballistic – it either ties them up in the tiresome business of deflating it; trying to squeeze it into the back of a van, a potentially comic process requiring a good deal of manpower; or engaging them in a bouncy back and forth, play or absurdity replacing violence and hostility. (Wallpaper)
During many small and big revolution, people still believe that establishing a group or organizationin can make people, who have same creed and benefit, gathering and struggle together, besides, trying to catch the governments‘ attention and make progress. Some of them have nothing to lose except for their honour, respect and homeland.
Noel Douglass design ‘playing cards: regime change begins at home’, I think the concept is very interesting, which being used to vigilant citizen.
Ellissitsky design for the banner echoes constructivist poster, ‘beating the whites with red wedge’ means the intrusive red wedge symbolises the bolsheviks, who are penetrating and defeating their opponents, the White movement, during the Russian Civil War. It is an example of Suprematism.
The image became popular in the West when Lissitzky moved to Germany in 1921. It is considered symbolic of the Russian Civil War in Western publications, although it is virtually unknown in Russia. The second picture is his work as well, but not in the exhibition, these two work s have close relationship.
Artist, writer and gay right activist Avram Finkelstein is one of creator of pink triangle to mark out gay men. The silence=death Logo inverted this symbol. It created a powerful call to the gay community to unite and fight homophobia and inaction during the AIDS crisis.
The pink triangle was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used to identify male prisoners who were sent there because of theirhomosexuality. The pink triangle was also used to identify sexual offenders including rapists, paedophiles and zoophiles. Every prisoner had to wear a downward-pointing triangle on his or her jacket, the colour of which was to categorize him or her by “kind”. Other colors identified Jews (two triangles superimposed as a yellow star), political prisoners, Jehovah’s Witnesses, “anti-social” prisoners, and others the Nazis deemed undesirable. Pink and yellow triangles could be combined if a prisoner was deemed to be gay and Jewish (see Nazi concentration camp table of inmate markings). (Wikipedia)
Silence = Death is a 1990 documentary film directed, written and produced by Rosa von Praunheim. The film centers on the response of some New York City artists to the AIDS epidemic. The interviewed includes East Village artist David Wojnarowicz, poet Allen Ginsberg, artists Keith Haring, Peter Kunz, Bern Boyle and many others. It is the first part of von Praunheim and Phil Zwickler’s trilogy about AIDS and activism it was followed by Positive (the third part, about the AIDS epidemic in Germany, was never released). (wikipedia)
which comes from Paul Petro Contemporary Art , utilizing Pink Floyd’s album cover design.
The badges were made to support the struggle against apartheid in South Africa，in my opinion, I’m interested in this design, people use this style design, buckling on the clothes and bags, to advocate the concept of against apartheid. On the visual basic, the concept is implanted into life by this form, which become intimate objects as part of people’s life, it is a static way make people impressed, compared with other campaigns, such as demonstration and using body to confront with government army, I remember an important event in my country, named ‘four and five the tiananmen incident’, government ordered tank to suppress undergraduates who demonstrating so that many people died.
Many objects belong to ongoing struggle, like ‘Stop the cull’, ‘Be nice to prostitutes’, ‘Now free England’, ‘Free Taiwan we are independent country’, ‘China is ruining Africa’
In the word, in order to defend citizens’ right and express the injustice emotion to country, many groups and individuals using design banner, newspaper, brochure and other different forms to protest policies and violence of government and authority, because good banner design deep into people’s heart can call for more like-minded people together to protest, during the protest campaign, visual element is an indispensable part, which is an intuitive and moving image, what’s more, it is also a valuable culture heritage, we can find its step in the long history.
Then I talk about and show my perspective about the articles make me impressed:
In terms of badge, Logo and tokens, all of them have a function that linking people who have a common goal together, especially, a representative and persuasive symbol object and pattern, ‘If you come only to help me, you can go back home, but if you consider my struggle as part of your struggle for survival’ solidarity means sticking together in a common cause, and is a strategy for movement. We can shout out the feeling of injustice and dissatisfied to the government, law and society, it is a solid that can continue and cement thought and movement. There are many examples in our life, one token stand for one belief and creed, which is forever young and passion, such as rock gesture, in the metal rock concert, all people hold high same gesture to cry out, besides, same tattoo, they don’t know each other, but one power make them solidarity. This phenomenon is attitude to life and future. What’s more, sign of anti-war is used popularly in the music and fashion area, sometimes which is regarded as a popular symbol.
In the terms of prison articles, such as ‘Fuck and law pendant’, ‘Zu-tag pendant’ and ‘Prison solidarity’, I strong agree with perspective of author. Solitary confinement is a form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated from any human contact, though often with the exception of members of prison staff. After all, communication is a basic way to know each other and express themselves, despite murderer, rapist, robbers, who are unforgiven, they should be punished by law, and government has a responsibility to arrest them into prison to stuck with other prisoners, however, solitary confinement is over the foundation of human nature, even if they are not required to touch anybody, but they still need communication. On the other words, many-year solitary confinement equal suicide to some extent, if one prisoner solitary for years, he will lose the capacity of getting along with people, even they have a chance to be released from prison, they probably have psychological phobia due to many-year solitary confinement, what’s more, it’s difficult for them to link with society changing each year.
show, A. (2014). Art and protest collide at the V&A’s new ‘Disobedient Objects’ show | Art | Wallpaper* Magazine. [online] Wallpaper.com. Available at:
Thedoublenegative.co.uk, (2014). The Double Negative » “Every Tool Is A Weapon If You Hold It Right”: Disobedient Objects At The V&A. [online] Available at:
Wikipedia, (2014). Silence = Death. [online] Available at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silence_%3D_Death [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014].
Wikipedia, (2014). Pink triangle. [online] Available at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_triangle [Accessed 10 Nov. 2014].