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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Signs Of Revolt – Creative Resistance & Social Movements since Seattle

5 of the disobedient and mischievous activist groups you should check out and get involved with now…

Written by Adam S

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A cold November night and I journey to a very cosy Camden Barfly to view Plastiscines. This band are the latest export from the country who gave us Eric Cantona, medical Various nice cheeses and the lady who keeps Johnny Depp of the market. The venue is packed with what appears to be a very male dominated crowd. I wonder why this is? Oh right, view there are four stunning French girls (it was France by the way) about to come on stage. They may have come on stage looking like they were on a shoot for “Teen Vogue” but looks can be deceiving. Playing a pop/punk/rock blend of tracks that feature on “LP1” and forthcoming album “About Love” this grunge glam quartet well and truly showed that they are not just pretty faces.

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Top producer Butch Walker fell in love with the girls when he saw them perform a cover of Nancy Sinatra’sThese Boots”, store they seemed to have the same effect on the Camden crowd. Plastiscines definitely managed to put their own fresh stamp on it, whilst still being respectful to the original, a far cry from Jessica Simpson’s shambles of an attempt in 2005. Their angst anthem “Bitch”, which has recently featured on “Gossip Girl”, was a sandwiched nicely in the middle of the set to the responsive audience, closing down with current cute pop single “Barcelona”. I have rarely had “Barcelona” out of my head since I first heard it, not in a negative way, I want it there, I want to dance to it, I want to sing it and be part of this ridiculously cool band. Lead singer Katty invited those in the room to do just that as she announced that the girls needed some bitches on stage. There was no shortage of these as half the room piled on to join the group, some of them being bitches with beards. We were then treated to seconds of “Bitch”. Bridget Bardot-esk Katty launched herself in the audience and continued to sing “Bitch” to men who I’m imagining felt powerful mixture of intense excitement and terror. I would also if I was them, “ I’m a bitch when I brush my teeth” is as blunt and to the point as the lyrics get. “B.I.T.C.H” she continues just to spell it out and make it clear.

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As she made her way teasingly around the floor I noticed that her makeup was all still perfectly in place. How can this be so after performing such an energetic set? Surely it should have melted down her face which happens to the best of us just sitting on the tube never mind bouncing about for the best part of an hour?! This went for them all. Not a sweaty swept fringe in site, All of them looking naturally no less than perfect after a flawless set. They perhaps are a 00’s Boho version of Jem and The Holograms.

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Majorly rocking out whilst still maintaining a chic exterior. While the cartoon ended around the time these four were born, The adventures of Plastiscines have only just begun, and I for one shall continue to watch.

Album “LP” and single “Barcelona” are available now.
Signs of Revolt is an exhibition celebrating the creative resistance of the past decade’s social movements. It’s an uplifting retrospective that marks the 10th anniversary of the protests that shut down the World Trade Organisation in Seattle.

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Walking into the space at Truman Brewery you are met with an array of posters, ask pictures, colour design and documentation all every available wall, witty slogans and collages, videos to costumes and paraphernalia. A one-stop tour of global movements and actions, and a great insight for the passerby of the creative power of social resistance or a great retrospective for an activist well versed in the successes and failures of civil disobedience.

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The exhibition inspires by focusing on all the direct actions from the diverse; capitalism vs. anarchism cricket matches or the vast array of propaganda posters from all the past movements and actions around the world.

Here are some of the groups, artists and disobedient folk you should really check out and get involved with.

1. Space Hijackers

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Calling themselves a ‘dis-organisation of artistic and anti corporate activists’ space hijackers bring together a group intent on creating civil mischief. Their projects have included huge circle line tube parties, acquiring a tank and attempting to invade Europe’s largest arms fair, creating starbucks chaos and a huge range of other ingenious and daring feats to challenge the states authority and the status quo. They are meeting tonight, Thursday 19th, at the exhibition at 7pm and is open to everyone to get involved, well apart from undercover cops.

2. Camp for Climate Action

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Check out the photographic road show that’s been touring the country at universities, talks, galleries and festivals over the past couple of years. Aiming to dispel some of the myths spread by the mainstream media and to encourage and inspire other to get involved. The photos document the climate camp actions over the past few years, explain how they happen and give an insight into the workings of a climate camp. Remember climate camp are putting on coaches at an activist cut price of £100 to Copenhagen.

3. Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

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An affinity group of friends and activists intent on combining art with activism the ‘Lab of ii’ has been responsible for recruiting a rebel clown army, launching a rebel raft regatta to shut down a power station to throwing snowballs at bankers. Lab of ii have also created ‘put the fun between your legs’ a bike making workshop in Bristol next week that aims to create a bike contraption to use in direct action at the Copenhagen summit in December.

4. Indymedia London

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The website bringing together political active networks, collectives and individuals that help document and organise actions and events. Part of an ever-growing network around the world that lets you be the media, publish your own news stories and let everyone know about what’s really happening outside the mainstream. Indymedia have brought together a load of information and news footage at Signs of Revolt to check out.

5. Kennardphillipps

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Working since the invasion of Iraq Kennardphillipps is a collaboration creating huge scale collages and designs that confront the issues of power and control across the globe. The work is made from a cross group of media, the street, gallery and newspapers and magazines that are brought together in workshops to produce these engaging and confrontational art pieces.

Signs of Revolt has also held daily workshops, films and speakers over the past week which aim to inspire and educate as well as creating some lively debate. The weeklong event is also about looking towards the future especially with the mass mobilisation towards the Copenhagen climate Change Summit where thousands of activists from around the world will descend on Denmark next month to hopefully create a social movement like no other.

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Signs of Revolt is only on till the 22nd of November so you have a few days to get there, get inspired and hopefully add or join to the next decade of creative resistance, mischief and action to look towards a better world.

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One Response to “Signs Of Revolt – Creative Resistance & Social Movements since Seattle”

  1. Jess Hurd says:

    Nice review but my photographs of Carlo Giuliani could do with a caption, Genoa G8 Summit was a fairly significant event.

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