‘a rebel scene’ is a collaborative experiment in art and in the representation of political activism. We seek to dismiss authorship, cultural hierarchies, institutional control and political positioning. Our departure point is the idea that human struggle is universal and that an economy of language and images can create an open space for personal self identification.
The work presented was produced in collaboration with local, Nottingham-based groups: Nottingham Women’s Centre, rebel women, Reel Equality Film Club and the Sparrows Nest Anarchist Library. It was developed through research, group discussions and creative workshops which explored how existing text and visual material can be used to create spaces for expression and resistance. Contemporary and historical imagery was taken from popular media and re-worked through collage. In contrast, selected content was appropriated from anarchist publications of the 1970’s and 1980’s and stripped of its context to create a resonance with protest today.
Within this commission, the concept of space, be it physical, mental or virtual, is used for the mobilisation of political agency. Borrowed from art critic, Nicolas Bourriaud, a rebel scene is a ‘relational space of aesthetic encounter’, an interstices of art and social relations, oscillating between past and present. It is a place where questions and dialogue can emerge. Without a specific political or social cause at its centre, a rebel scene seeks to activate the individual and unite the collective for every struggle, freedom and fight for equality.
Chloe Cheeseman, Taly Emmanuela, Monica Francis, Raisa McLeary Francis, Tracey Letts, Sonia Long, Bo Olawoye, Kajal Nisha Patel, Sunil Shah, Honey Williams.
The commissioned artists, Kajal Nisha Patel and Sunil Shah would like to thank the following people and organisations for their kind help:
Sonia Long, rebel women, Melanie Jeffs, Nottingham Women’s Centre, Chloe Cheeseman, Equation’s Reel Equality Film Club, Philipp and the Sparrows Nest Anarchist Library, People Histreh, Bo Olawoye, Roger Bromley, Melanie Kidd, Ross Bradshaw, Five Leaves Bookshop, Tony Simpson, Spokesman Book, The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Lightseekers.
November 5, 2016