In May 2017, as part of this ongoing project, working with Radar, the Loughborough University Artscentre, we commissioned four contemporary artists to make new artworks and initiated a weekend festival – For & Against, Art, Politics and the Pamphlet.
A one-day research symposium was held at Fearon Hall with the Artist Taxi-Driver as invited keynote speaker. A public festival was held in the town centre and at various community sites. Events included free public workshops, market stalls and artists’ performances in Loughborough towncentre in the library, community centre, and public park: for example, Ruth Beale, offering discussions about political pamphlets in a local hairdressers salon; Little Riot Press ran DIY zine-making workshops in the community library; the Freee collective set up their public kiosk amongst other market stalls, giving away manifestoes and badges
Also, as part of the festival, I curated an exhibition, For & Against; The Art of the Pamphlet, May-June 2017 at Charnwood Museum, Loughborough. It included around 150 political and artists’ pamphlets (and zines) from various sources including the Peoples History Museum in Manchester and the grassroots archive Mayday Rooms in London. A further version of the exhibition was presented at Martin Hall Exhibition Space at Loughborough University, including artworks produced by the artists commissioned by Radar in 2017, pamphlets produced in community and school workshops and those made at the weekend public festival.
The final culmination is a publication, Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer published in December 2020 by Bloomsbury in the RadicalArt-RadicalAesthetics(RaRa) book series. We worked with Little Riot Press on the layout and design to produce the book which is a combination of artists’ pamphlets alongside essays about the radical political history of pamphlets, the format of the pamphlet and its uses and appropriation in modern and contemporary art.