Catherine Flood

Title: Curator
Department: Word and Image

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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.

Umbrella Movement

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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Goddess of democracy, Beijing, China, 1989

Museums and Protest

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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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.

Placards and Pride in Russia

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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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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Olympic Posters: History Lessons

This is the second in a series of posts looking at Olympic posters from the V&A collection

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Olympic Posters

As I sit down to write the first entry for this blog, London is buzzing with Olympic fever: there is only one day left to go before the opening of the London 2012 Olympic Games. This presents me with a perfect opening subject – especially as Olympic posters are an area of the collection that we’ve been focussing on for some time at the V&A.

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