Troublemakers? Bishopsgate Institute Explores Protest

The first day of Occupy London. Ed Thompson.

Image: The first day of Occupy London. October 2011. Ed Thompson

Protest and campaigning: there’s a lot of it about, but how often is it effective? Are those who make a stand always anti-establishment? How is the nature of protest and dissent changing?

A new series of talks and walks at Bishopsgate Institute will probe the history and present ways of challenging the status quo. The Troublemakers? season takes place in early May, and will use the hashtag #BITroublemakers.

ARCHIVE: Protest and Radicalism in Bishopsgate Library: Library and Archives Manager Stefan Dickers leads a tour of the Bishopsgate Institute’s impressive collection of literature relating to protests, including the huge 2003 demonstration against war in Iraq. 7 May, 6.30-7.30pm, FREE but prebook

MODERN PROTEST: A talk called Protest in a Digital Age looks at how technology and social media have changed how protests and civil disobedience are organised, and how they’re policed. Speakers include Symon Hill (author of Digital Revolutions: Activism in the Internet Age), Jamie Bartlett (Demos) plus representatives from Occupy and UK Uncut. The event is chaired by Ian Dunt of politics.co.uk. 7 May, 7.30pm, £9/£7

FEMINISM: Can you be a feminist and a Playboy bunny? Rosamund Urwin leads a discussion about the overlaps and conflicts between feminism and ‘raunch culture’, with Sarah Mathewson from feminist campaign group OBJECT, and Barbara Haigh, a former Playboy Bunny Girl. 8 May, 7.30pm, £9/£7

RUBY WAX: The popular broadcaster talks about coping with 21st century life in her Sane New World show. 9 May, 7.30pm, £22/£18

BOOKS: London Radical Bookfair & Alternative Press Takeover will spread throughout the Bishopsgate Institute, offering numerous stalls from radical booksellers, publishers, zine makers, artists and activists. 10 May, 10am-5pm, FREE, just turn up

CLERKENWELL WALK: The City fringe has a long history of radicalism and protest. Blue Badge and City of London guide Diane Burstein leads a walk around the sites of agitation, taking in Marxism, Fenian prisoners, political refugees and May Day marchers. 11 May, 10.30am, £10/£8

TROUBLE MAKING: A day in the company of TOWIE (The Only Way Is Ethics) sounds like fun. “An eclectic mix of pop-up protests and interactive workshops encourage you to own your views and cause some trouble. This mischievous happening is inspired by London troublemakers past and present. Expect the unexpected.” 11 May, 11am-3pm, FREE, book in advance

A number of adult courses will also run throughout the season:

8-9 May: Cable Street and Fighting Fascism in 1930s London – classroom study and walk with David Rosenberg.
8 May: The Art and Design of Protest – drawing workshop building on Bishopsgate Institute’s archives.
8 May: What is Radicalism? – tutor Anja Steinbauer explores the hope and horror of radicalism, using the work of Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt and Herbert Marcuse.
9 MayFilm Studies: The Radical Film America Tried to Ban - Hilary Smith examines Salt of the Earth, a little-known but highly significant 1950′s film embracing feminism, racial equality, collectivism and activism.

Londonist is proud to be the 2014 Media Partner of Bishopsgate Institute.

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