Catherine Flood

Title: Curator
Department: Word and Image

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‘The louder my voice the deeper the bury me’ (Herman Wallace)

Poppy and Herman

 In 1971 three black inmates of Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola Prison) in the United States established a chapter of the Black Panther Party inside the prison. They subsequently served extraordinary periods of continuous solitary confinement – over 100 years between them – and became known as the ‘Angola 3′. Robert King was released in 2001. […]

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The Guerrilla Girls: Fierce and Funny Feminists

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Isabel Hardingham is a part-time Gallery Assistant at the V&A, a role that she combines with being Senior Bookshop Associate at the Architectural Association Bookshop. Working inside the Disobedient Objects exhibition, she reflects on the impact that the Guerrilla Girls made on her as an art history student and on the ongoing relevance of their […]

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Umbrella Movement

One of the umbrellas with calligraphy by Savona Ling, outside the first “Democracy Wall” on the tall fences encircling the Civic Square in the background. Civic Square, whose name was so given in a student movement against nationalist education in 2012, was fenced off in recent months for added security to the Central Government Offices.

New movements have grown in the time that Disobedient Objects has been open and new objects have been made. A key example is the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong where Occupy Central with Love and Peace has mobilised people in large scale protests demanding that Beijing grant Hong Kong true universal suffrage. In this blog […]

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Museums and Protest

Goddess of democracy, Beijing, China, 1989

The V&A’s forthcoming Disobedient Objects exhibition challenges the image that many people have of what museums contain and what they are for. However museums can and sometimes do engage with social and political events happening in the world around us. The following are four recent instances of this. The June 4th Museum This June marked […]

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Placards and Pride in Russia

This double-sided placard is one of a series of placards made by radical queer marchers at a protest rally on February 4 th, 2012, where the LGBT flag appeared for the first time at a political demonstration.

Today over 20,000 people will participate in Pride, one of London’s largest events celebrating the LGBT community.  This year organizers have chosen the theme Freedom to…. , an idea closely tied to one of the placards in our exhibition ‘Disobedient Objects’. This placard formed part of a spontaneous 2012 exhibition in Moscow, after President Vladimir Putin’s […]

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Floating Posters

dr.d (doctored or subverted) is an artist best known for altering and augmenting billboards. On one level the motivation is simply to disrupt the outpourings of commercial advertisers and provide people with something more stimulating in the visual environment. For many this is a welcome intervention. An email quoted as a testimonial on dr.d’s website […]

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Collect London 2012: a few more of your images

So many great images have been contributed to the Collect London 2012 project (see last post) that I couldn't resist putting a few more on the blog. Have a look at the Flickr group and add your own images from the last two weeks.

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Collect London 2012

We need your images for this project!

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Olympic Protest

On top of a road sign near Brick Lane in London last week an unofficial street art tribute was erected to Tommie Smith – one of two black Americanathletes who famously used an Olympic podium at the Mexico City Games in 1968 to stage a demonstration against racial discrimination in the United States. As the American national anthem played, Smith and John Carlos (gold and bronze medallists in the 200m respectively) silently made the black power salute – creating an iconic image of dignified protest that was broadcast around the globe.

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Olympic Posters: Branding

When the Olympic Torch Relay arrived in London, the official London 2012 website declared that 'London's moment to shine is here'. Early on in the history of the modern Olympic Games host cities realised that the Games were a chance to project a message of both civic and national pride to the rest of the world. Many Olympic posters present host cities through images of skylines, important monuments or civic coats of arms.

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