Young People and Protest - Gallery Guide

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YOUNG PEOPLE AND

PROTEST GALLERY GUIDE


YOUNG PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THINKING THAT THEY DONT HAVE A

FUTURE

MICAELA IRON SHELL-DOMINQUEZ

INTRODUCTION Young people have played a vital role in protest over the centuries from the Reform Bill Riots of the early 1800s to the Vietnam War in the 1970s. But it wasn’t until the civil rights movement in the 1960s that society witnessed such a mobilisation of young voices rallying against issues such as immigration rights and tuition fees. 2019 and 2020 were unprecedented years that saw young people’s involvement in two of the most important issues facing society and governments across the world: Climate Strike and Black Lives Matter. Not even a global pandemic kerbed their need to protest against these and other injustices. This vibrant exhibition is a celebration of the power, passion, and ability that young people have shown to get their voices heard, to fight against continued injustice and to enact change locally and globally. The exhibition showcases a snapshot of historical and contemporary youth activism from around the world and asks ‘how you will use your voice to fight for social change’?

‘Young People and Protest’ exhibition was co-produced during the global Covid pandemic. The project is testament to the tenacity and passion of everyone who connected with it across a meandering and interrupted two-year period.


STUDENT PROTEST OVER FEES TURNS

VIOLENT

PROTESTERS SMASH WINDOWS AND GET ONTO ROOF OF TORY HQ AS ESTIMATED

50,000

ATTEND LONDON RALLY

THE GUARDIAN, 10TH NOVEMBER 2010

PRESS MEDIA “Media attention to protests have tended to be negative, stigmatizing protesters as deviant and depicting protests as violent.” (Chan and Lee 1984; McLeod and Hertog 1999). There has been plenty of news stories about protest that have employed expressions such as ‘riots’ and ‘destruction’, whilst others have given voice to politicians who labelled protesters as ‘thugs’ or ‘criminals’. Such media messaging can damage a movement’s ability to get their cause across successfully. According to a study by Niemanlab this ‘annoyance’ framing of protests, where press coverage focusses on the negative impact on traffic, local businesses, and property, has increased in recent years “newspapers were more likely to frame a protest as a nuisance in 2007 than in 1967.” (https://www.niemanlab.org/2020/06/its-time-to-change-the-way-themedia-reports-on-protests-here-are-some-ideas/) New research has shown that the ‘mainstream’ media has on occasion expressed support for protests and in particular young people’s involvement. In an article entitled ‘View on teenage activists: protesters not puppets’ it states that “we should respect and welcome efforts by children and teenagers to make their voices heard and influence decision-making.” (The Guardian, 07/02/2019) On 5th January 2022 four activists were cleared of any criminal damage for taking down the Colston statue in 2020. These two headlines show how different newspapers framed the verdict: “’Closton Four’ walk free as jury says no crime was committee.” (The Daily Telegraph, 06/01/2022) “Statue ‘vandals’ cleared… But where will it all end.” (Daily Express, 06/01/2022) The newspapers displayed in this exhibition are examples of the emotive language used in reporting protests.


I DIDN’T WANT TO LIMIT THE PROTEST TO BEING STRICTLY ON THE STREETS, I WANTED OUR VOICES TO BE HEARD AND DID IT THE BEST WAY I KNOW HOW - THROUGH

THE INTERNET

LUIZA, 16, UK, 2019

SOCIAL MEDIA Social media allows people “to see a reality that has been entirely visible to some people and invisible to others. As those injustices become visible, meaningful change follows.” (Omar Wasow – Professor at Princeton University) Live streaming and sharing media about a protest as it’s happening can offer multiple perspectives, be shared quickly to a wider audience than print journalism and is important in supporting modern day democracy. Campaigners have creatively used social media to organise protests and actions. In September 2021 “an environmental activist launched a TikTok litter-picking campaign which saw 800,000 pieces of rubbish removed from public spaces in one week.” (i, 03/09/2021) Social media has also been used to capture acts of injustice as they unfold, holding authorities accountable for their actions as seen with the murder of George Floyd. Posts on social media can also be used by authorities to imprison people for comments they’ve made which are seen as a threat to national security. Poet Dareen Tatour was imprisoned for posting a poem on YouTube that the Israeli authorities claimed incited terrorism. In June 2019 authorities in Sudan implemented a complete internet shutdown as a reaction to protests across the country which were organised via social media. In this exhibition we’ve gathered and presented recent protest images shared on social media between 2019 and 2021. These photographs will change during the exhibition to include and reflect what is happening around the world as it occurs.


46

8 MINUTES

SECONDS

DARNELLA FRAZIER & THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD Darnella Frazier was 17 when she encountered George Floyd. He was being restrained by police officer Derek Chauvin, who was kneeling on his neck during an arrest in May 2020. Her video, filmed using her phone, documented the murder of George Floyd and helped galvanize a global movement over racial injustice. She was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer prizes board: “for courageously recording the murder of George Floyd, a video that spurred protests against police brutality, around the world, highlighting the crucial role of citizens in journalists’ quest for truth and justice.” As a result of sharing this film via social media protestors across the world took to the streets, adding their voices to the vital anti racism movement on a scale not seen since the 1960s. Over 250 demonstrations were held across the UK in support of Black Lives Matter. Young people were often the loudest, most passionate voices at the protests. By October 2020, over half of the British public continued to support Black Lives Matter.


DONT NORMALISE

INJUSTICE

163 DEATHS IN UK CUSTODY

SINCE 1990

BLACK LIVES MATTER NOTTINGHAM PEACEFUL PROTEST SUNDAY 7TH JUNE 2020 FOREST RECREATION GROUND This event was advertised through Facebook inviting Nottinghamshire residents to participate in a stance against racism and in particular ‘justice for victims of racial police brutality.’ It gained the interest of more than 2,000 people. Organised by Janelle Brown, Shan Vincent and Tyla Henrique-White of Next Gen Movement. Some observations shared by Vanessa Pupavac, from the University of Nottingham, who attended the protest. ‘Overwhelmingly local Nottingham people and lots of young people (18-early 20s)- in small groups with friends from school or from the area + pupils or ex-pupils recognising teachers or friends’ parents in the crowds.’ ‘90 percent black at front of protest’ ‘60%-40% black/white towards back of protest’ ‘Placards were home-made.’ ‘Good atmosphere. Relaxed.’ Speeches emphasised “Nottingham as a diverse city and we can and should show solidarity with people suffering from police violence in the US and elsewhere.”


TOOLS OF PROTEST: PLACARDS Early 20th century protest placards and banners were simple with repeated bold slogans, such as ‘Votes for Women’ conveying a forthright demand. The sight of people marching, holding such signs, was intended to show the breadth of support for movements such as the suffragettes, and elicit change. Today, protests can be quick and fluid, so protesters and campaigners approach placard making with a sense of raw urgency, with powerful slogans and striking symbolism. Although the tactics of protesters today are no different to those such as the suffragettes: show up in force and make headlines, they are now elevated by the dynamics and immediacy of social media.

Image Credit: National Justice Museum

Over one thousand young people have been involved in co-producing this exhibition. Designing slogans and crafting symbols of protest. These slogans and designs created by young people, during a series of workshops at the National Justice Museum, shaped the wall of placards you see here in the gallery, codesigned with Saria Digregorio. The slogans and designs represent the causes that are important to young people in Nottingham today. Saria is a designer, educator, researcher, and maker interested in typography. She experiments with content organisation and functional use of typography to make complex information accessible through visual explanations.


TOOLS OF PROTEST: BADGES Accessible, cheap and easily made, button badges have come to define mass movements. People wear them at demonstrations and marches to draw awareness to political and social causes. With the rise of protest movements in the 1960’s and 70’s the pin badge was given a whole new lease of life, empowering and uniting students, hippies and musicians as a symbol for protest. Badges tended to represent campaigns especially around sexual politics, nuclear power and the environment, the war in Vietnam and Indigenous land rights. One of the most recognisable causes represented on badges at that time in the UK was the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Protest badges have continued to be a personal sign that people can wear to empower them in displaying beliefs, allegiances and preferences that would otherwise remain unknown. They are a highly effective way to make a direct impression of what individuals stand for. The National Justice Museum holds a number of badges from various historical and recent protests. Some of the badges on display in this exhibition have been kindly donated and lent to the Museum.


TOOLS OF PROTEST: BADGES

TOOLS OF PROTEST: BADGES

These vibrant giant badges were co-designed by young people in a series of workshops with artist Bernie Rutter. Bernie is a visual artist and works with printmaking sculpture and photography. Within printmaking she uses mark making to create texture, whilst in photography she plays with textured overlays.

Call to action – cut out to create your own protest badge. Photograph your badge design and share on #NJMProtest

The designs represent slogans of campaign issues important and relevant to young people in Nottingham. The artist worked collaboratively with school ambassadors from Nottingham University Samworth Academy, students from NTU, and local young people during creative drop-in sessions.

Image from workshop with Nottingham University Samworth Academy


OBJECTS OF PROTEST The National Justice Museum holds several objects used in historic protests. These two objects can be seen on the Press Media wall in the gallery.

2. Reform Bill Riot Broadside 1832 depicting the trial and execution of Beck, Hearson & Armstrong for their role in the Reform Bill Riots, Nottingham, 1831.

1. Bludgeon used against police by students in the 1887 Trafalgar Square demonstration, known as ‘Bloody Sunday’. The protest was against unemployment and a campaign in support of freedom of speech and the right to free assembly. This protest led to the beginning of a social welfare system. 3 demonstrators died

10,000 protesters

2 march leaders imprisoned for 6 weeks

2 police officers stabbed

2 men shot by the Yeomanry

27 people tried in court for their alleged actions during the Reform Riots

18 acquitted

9 days of trials 6 men transported to Australia

25,000 people signed a petition to the king for leniency on the prisoners

3 men executed

2,000 police officers

12-15,000 protesters £21,000 (equivalent to £2.5 million today) paid to Lord Newcastle for damages to Nottingham Castle 400 troops

400 demonstrators arrested 200 demonstrators hospitalised 160 demonstrators imprisoned

Just 5% of the population in England and Wales had the right to vote before the Reform Act of 1882.


whatkindofworld.co.nz

WHAT KIND OF WORLD BY HANNAH PARIKH What Kind of World Film

I feel that we could do so well if we were all united together. We could do so much better. We could create an amazing, climate resilient world to live in.

What Kind of World shares the words of eight young people fighting for social change in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand. They are involved in climate, youth and solidarity movements. This film is the result of a series of conversations beginning with the question: “what kind of world do you want to live in?” Their thoughts, concerns and motivations were displayed on posters around Wellington asking people to question the position of youth in society and how we use public space to communicate. The transcripts to the interviews can be seen at: www.whatkindofworld.co.nz Hannah Parikh is a visual artist from Nottingham. She specialises in sculpture and installation. Her work encompasses a range of techniques such as casting, ceramics and mould making. She combines found materials with casts of domestic objects to transform spaces, influenced by scenes of everyday life and human presence. Hannah was selected for the UK Young Artist National Justice Museum commission awards in 2019. Her commission was to work collaboratively with the museum under the theme of ‘young people and protest’.


YOUNG PEOPLE’S RESPONSES

During the co-production process we shared these four provocations widely, to better understand how young people were thinking and feeling about ‘protest’. We received 1,300 incredible responses and these shaped and informed the exhibition. The most commonly offered responses related to Black Lives Matter, racism, climate change, peace, trans rights and animal rights. Here is an example of some of the responses. Take a look at the National Justice Museum website to see all the responses on the virtual tour.


A NUMBER OF OFFICIALS GRABBED ME, THEY GOT ME IN A HOLD AND

IMPACT OF PROTESTS ON CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE

THEY BEAT ME

LEONARDO ROMERO NEGRIN, 22 YEAR OLD STUDENT PROTESTER, CUBA, 2021

AT LEAST 630 PROTESTERS BETWEEN AGES 13 AND 25 ARRESTED BY TUNISIAN AUTHORITIES ON

AS OF DECEMBER 2020, AT LEAST 234 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED, WITH CHARGES INCLUDING SEDITION DURING THE PROTESTS IN

JANUARY 18 2021

THAILAND THAILAN WERE MOSTLY YOUNG

THERE HAD BEEN PROTEST INITIATIVES GOING ON ALL WEEK, AND EVERYONE KNEW THERE’D BE A MASS RALLY ON SUNDAY. SO THEY JUST ARRESTED YOUNG

PEOPLE AT RANDOM RAISKY,

25

YEAR

OLD

ON

PROTESTS

IN

BELARUS,

2020

135 PEOPLE ARRESTED IN THE UK DURING THE BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS OF

2020

PEOPLE AND

STUDENTS


BLACK LIVES MATTER - GLOBAL 4446 protests took place in cities and towns around the world from May 25 2020 to November 18 2020. 500,000 (half a million) people joined and added their voice to the Black Lives Matter protests in nearly 550 places across the United States on June 6 2020. More than 10,000 protesters were arrested in the first 10 days after George Floyd’s murder on May 25 in the US. 24,000 complaints made to OFCOM for the Black Lives Matter-inspired dance performance on Britain’s Got Talent by dance troupe Diversity. Police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with the murder of George Floyd and sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. Louisville city lawmakers passed “Breonna’s Law” banning no-knock warrants following the no-knock police shooting of Breonna Taylor. Cities and states across the USA are reallocating police funds to social services.


OUR FUTURE IS

THREATENED AND THEY ARE INSENSITIVE TO THAT. WE NEED POLITICIANS TO MAKE THIS A

PRIORITY

NAYARA ALMEIDA, 21, RIO DE JANEIRO, 2019

CLIMATE STRIKE- GLOBAL 20TH SEPTEMBER 2019 734 climate protesters killed in Columbia between January and July 2019

150 Countries took part 4600 climate strike protests around the world Over 4 million people took part worldwide 70 unions

500 organisations 20,000 protestors marched in Edinburgh More than 200 events in the UK 1000 companies

Over 100,000 people took part in a rally in London


THE CLIMATE CHANGE MUST BE TREATED AS A

CRISIS! Greta Thunberg, 2019 Image Credit: Adam Johansson

THE POWER OF ONE 15-year-old Greta Thunberg and other young activists started protesting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018, every Friday for three weeks. She held a sign that read “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (“School strike for the climate”) and thousands of young people across the world were inspired to organise their own strikes. By the end of 2018 over 20,000 students had joined her School Strike for Climate campaign. A year later, she received the first of three Nobel Peace Prize nominations for climate activism. In 2019, Greta sailed across the Atlantic on a yacht to attend a UN climate conference in New York. In her speech she accused world leaders of not doing enough. “You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.” In December 2019 she was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. All of this attention catapulted Greta into the gaze of world leaders and the media, not all of them supportive. She has faced ridicule for being different, with shameless remarks in newspapers. “I have never seen a girl so young and with so many mental disorders treated by so many adults as a guru,” wrote the columnist Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun. Yet she rides above the hate with positive support from climate activists, scientists, world leaders and the Pope, all championing her to continue her work. As Sir David Attenborough told her “You have achieved things many others have failed to do.”

-Greta Thunberg, 2019 -Photo - Jeff J Mitchell

Greta image removed Put back in?

During the summer of 2020 we invited people to sit with an image of Greta in solidarity. Installed in a pop up shed with the Social Higher Education Depot (S.H.E.D)


SYMBOLS OF PROTEST Artist Tim Onga has worked with three young people to create the ‘symbols of protest graffiti wall’ in the gallery. Use this space to draw the marks, shapes and lines that symbolise protest to you.

Photograph your symbols and share with the tag #NJMProtest


CREDITS

A heartfelt thank you to the wonderful people who volunteered time, energy and skill to this project. An extra special thank you to: Adam Johansson Baby People Bernie Rutter Chris Tregenza Claire Roe Dr Rhiannon Jones Dizzy Ink Green Light Project Hannah Parikh Heya Arab Women’s Group John E Wright Josh Osoro Pickering Justyna Hodur Kim Errington & Make to Make Lynn Smith Nottingham University Samworth Academy student ambassadors Meadows Youth Club NEST Off Earth Strike Pythian Club Renewal Trust Rosemary Nightingale Russell Jenkins Saria Digregorio S.H.E.D (the Social Higher Education Depot) Smallkid Steve Ingham Tim Onga Vanessa Pupavac V21 Artspace

Co-produced exhibition led by: Bev Baker Andrea Hadley-Johnson Simon Brown Web: nationaljusticemuseum.org.uk Instagram & Twitter: @JusticeMuseum @NJMIdeas #NJMProtest Visit the virtual tour on the National Justice Museum website to see more content.