Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 November 2014

Exhibition review: Disobedient Objects

Disobedient Objects, photo by V&A

Disobedient Objects, photo by V&A   (Click to enlarge)

Amalia Loizidou reviews the Disobedient Objects exhibition at London's V&A museum

This exhibition takes people on a journey through protests around the world and across time through objects, protest art and design. A Unite union banner saying: "Still the enemy within" greets visitors; this refers to how Thatcher talked of striking miners in the 1980s. The exhibition is full of DIY protest objects - some of which normally have a completely different use.

There is the lid of a cooking pot, used in Argentina around 2001 in protests against the bank accounts of millions being frozen. These protests led to the fall of four different presidents in three weeks. Next to it was a teacup and saucepan from the Women's Social and Political Union, the suffragettes' movement in Britain.

Other objects included a self-made gas mask used by protesters in Turkey in the Gezi park movement and the red square cut-out used as a solidarity symbol for the 2012 Quebec student protests.

A moving feature was the Arpilleras, appliquéd textiles made by women in South America. One of them celebrated the fall of dictator Pinochet in Chile; others were calls of hope and to remember the children who disappeared.

This exhibition also shows the guerrilla girls' gorilla masks, a feminist group of artists who were protesting the lack of female artists' representation in New York's Metropolitan Museum. You can learn about the history of the "bust cards" made in case of the arrest of protesters, explaining to them their rights and legal procedures.

There were placards from the 2011 student demos in Britain against increasing university tuition fees and abolishing the EMA. Wherever you stand in the exhibition a huge banner watches over you, saying "Capitalism Is Crisis". It's a pleasant surprise in a museum - Victoria and Albert (V&A) - named after royalty!

We went to the exhibition the day after the TUC "Britain needs a pay rise" demo in London. So it was good to see stickers from the V&A staff and the PCS union, with slogans about the living wage on the description panels.

Another good feature was a wall covered with current campaigns' material such as leaflets (including Socialism 2014 flyers) and also knickers with slogans about the abortion rights movement in Ireland.

This exhibition can teach you about movements in different places of the world and different moments in time that you might not know about. It even has items that you might have been using yourself while demonstrating for your rights. It will make you smile at objects produced for the different movements. It can also make you cry.

It will certainly leave you inspired about all the struggles across the world and across time. It shows how the baton is now in your hands to fight for your own rights and your own future. The exhibition, on until 1 February 2015 is definitely recommended! And it's free!

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £


Your message: 


In The Socialist 12 November 2014:

Socialist Party news and analysis

We can win £10 an hour

Socialism '14: infused with contagious confidence

'A magical fairyland' of corporate tax avoiders

What recovery? Thousands more jobs axed

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Afghanistan war: A legacy of death and destruction

Mid-term elections do not mean shift to right in US

Socialist history

25 years after the Berlin Wall fell

Socialist Party youth and students

Build the education fightback

Fight for our future!

Socialist Party workplace news

St Mungo's strikers celebrate victory

Care UK workers to ballot on 2% pay deal

Sheffield recycling: 'We're out until the boss is out'

Crane drivers tell HTC: It's time to pay up!

Fight JCB's 150 job cuts

London RMT: Vote John Reid

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Leading Scottish trade unionists back TUSC

Leicester party building school

Reviews and readers' comments

Exhibition review: Disobedient Objects

Theatre Review: United We Stand

Little charity from high paid care bosses

Labour - the singer or the song?

Flawed maths of the bedroom tax


Heulwen Davies 1960-2014


Home   |   The Socialist 12 November 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleExhibition: Don McCullin - a life in pictures

triangleArt exhibition: 'Unobtania' by Peter Robson

triangleExhibition: Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleSocialist anti-war exhibition opens in Kingston


triangleCovid crisis boosts union membership but TUC leaders want to cosy up to the bosses!

triangleEnergy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

triangleNo return to unsafe construction sites

triangleUnited action can defeat Tories' dangerous school plan


triangle1920s Britain: A "country nearer Bolshevism than at any time since"

triangleBristol North Socialist Party: Crisis, capitalism and class division - a discussion on perspectives for Britain

triangle130 Years of May Day in Britain: Fight for workers' rights more relevant than ever


triangleShocking increase in domestic violence killings

triangleLockdown increases domestic violence calls - Tory money a drop in the ocean


triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue


triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits


triangleSouthampton: University workers win full pay for casual staff


triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Abortion rights

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments



Going viral - Socialist comments and letters



Obituary: Rob Crabb



Going viral: letters to the editors


Upton Sinclair

The Jungle: capitalism's remorseless attack on workers' safety and conditions



Going Viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters on the corona crisis



TV Review BBC Panorama: PPE shortage - how many lives will be lost?



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters



Going viral: Socialist comments and letters



Going viral: Socialist comments on the corona crisis


Socialist Party

Labour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on



Going viral



Going viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis



Going viral: Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis



TV: Noughts and Crosses

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041



Alphabetical listing

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020