Art of Protest 'pop-up' exhibition launch, Manchester

From the heart of Manchester’s youth culture quarter NOISE Launches a 9-day 'pop-up' exhibition.

  • Type
    Exhibition / Launch
  • Date
    19 October, 2011
  • Location
    Northern Quarter, Manchester

After two months of intensive protest-themed organisation, production, copyright clearing, late nights and some quality mentorship from NOISE, the NOISE artist protest crew launched the NOISE Art of Protest exhibition and newspaper with an exclusive VIP and press party in the heart of Manchester’s youth culture quarter where the summer 2011 riots took place. A team of five NOISE Creatives sourced the artwork, cleared famous pieces by liaising directly with the original artists, curated the display in a challenging venue, arranged the launch’s live entertainment, managed the budget, designed, produced and distributed marketing materials, promoted the event and to top it all off, created a dedicated newspaper to accompany the exhibition.

Check out the NOISE Art of Protest newspaper here.

The launch

Executive members of Manchester City Council, press, sponsors, local businesses affected by the riots and NOISE Artists gather to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.
There are live 'happenings' at the launch, with graffiti artist 'Russ' creating legal protest pieces on Stevenson Square, and inside the venue guests are photographed with their individual protest message held up on a placard. The Reggae outfit Black Star Dub Collective and the Folk-tinged singer-songwriter T. E. Yates perform live, plus Eastern Bloc Records are spinning their tunes on the deck. Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Manchester Council, and Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, visit the launch and are really impressed with the positive messages delivered by the exhibition.

The young NOISE team has worked extremely hard in staging this event. The next step is to promote the Art of Protest project into schools and universities, to educate other young people about collective European youth concerns and develop creative means to express views and opinions via the national, curriculum-led learning project Re-Masters: The Art of Protest.

The exhibition

The nine-day visual arts exhibition is held in an empty fashion store in Stevenson Square, in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter where the summer 2011 riots took place. The exhibition shows how creative protests can have a lasting impact and gain positive media attention, without having to resort to violent forms of protest. The exhibition combines creative, non-violent protest pieces by young artists from the arts portfolio site with the iconic work from leading international artists including Banksy, Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing, Stella Vine, Katharine Hamnett’s to leading German artists Joseph Beuys & Thomas Peiter.

The exhibition also includes the NOISE Charity’s positive response to the 2011 youth riots with an international photo compilation from young people in Berlin, Madrid, Valencia and Manchester who declare their personal protest issues

Look at the Launch Night Photos here.


A massive NOISE thanks to those that have made the 'Art of Protest' possible:

The Art of Protest team Catherine Chialton, Frances Rocca, Fransisca Nelson, Karen Wan, Rael Gough and Sophie Ashcroft

All the professional artists and their representatives for kindly allowing us to use their art

The volunteers Bingrui Qu (MEV), Choy Jessamine Davis, Laura Lowe, Lizzie Pearson (MEV), Ovais Khan (MEV), Phil Vong, Shkiesha Pryce and Terence Chiu 

Photographers Liam Carter and Ste Sibbald for beautifully capturing the launch and exhibition with his camera.

Not to forget Wahid Amed, Chai Latte Cafe, Chimp Magazine City Co, Manchester Event Volunteers, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University, Sharman & Co, Soup Kitchen, Sports Specific and Trevor.

Supported by

European Commission’s Youth In Action
Youth in Action

The exhibition is funded by the ‘Youth in Action’ programme from the European Union, which has been set up to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans, and to involve them in shaping the Union's future. It promotes mobility within and beyond the EU borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the employability and inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Over the last year, protest has dominated the UK’s headlines. Art of Protest sees the charity demonstrating that protest can be achieved through creative means to deliver a powerful message without violence. We want to motivate young people from across the UK to communicate their issues safely and effectively.

Denise Proctor, NOISE Charity CEO and Founder