About Art of Protest

A creative platform for current youth issues & concerns, inspired by iconic protest art from over 50 years



Gillian Wearing's I'm Desperate

Re:masters - NOISE Art of Protest invited young people to use their  creativity to demonstrate their issues and take inspiration from the most iconic peaceful protests from the last 50 years, by the ‘Masters’ of protest art. We showed what had been done before and challenged them to do something equal or better, be it a happening, installation, painting, fashion piece, song, photo or drawing – we asked ‘How can you communicate your protest issues?’


"It's important to remember that everyone has a voice; Art of Protest is a great idea in showing effective ways in how our thoughts, opinions can be listened to through creative means."
Gillian Wearing, Turner Prize Winner & Art of Protest Master




WHYOld People Hate Us - Liam Carter

The non-violent Occupy Wall Street ‘pop-up festival’ protest, inspired by the “Arab Spring”, got as much press as the UK riots. It shows that you don’t have to use violence to get noticed. If all that the next generation of protesters are remembered for is a national, guerrilla supermarket-dash, then they’ve failed. They have to find the means to both capture the media’s attention, yet gain the average voter’s sympathies. Remember Swampy? People loved him. Everyone knows Banksy, parents, teachers etc., even bankers buy his work.

It’s important for you to exercise your right to protest. You’re the engine of the economy, the next labour force, the new start-ups, the present workers pension providers. So with a million 18-24 year olds unemployed in the UK and opportunities that were there for our parents are gone. All this will be ignored unless you act to demonstrate the problems you face, and get support from decision makers, parents and peers.


The Touring Exhibition & Project BriefNeil Conley's Snow Globe

NOISE Art of Protest project highlights the art of positive and peaceful protest, the exhibition and brief includes work from leading international artists such as Banksy, Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing, Stella Vine, banner maker Ed Hall, Katherine Hamnett’s anti-pershing missile T-shirt co-opting Margaret Thatcher, lyrics from top, UK singer-songwriter Billy Bragg and leading German artists Joseph Beuys and Thomas Peiter.
For more info on the 'Masters' see here

The project launched in October 2011 with a pop-up exhibition in Manchester’s Northern Quarter; where the city’s youth riots took place months earlier. The project brief, with teaching notes was distributed to schools, colleges, universities and community groups across the UK. The exhibition toured the country in venues across Manchester (Manchester Metropolitan & Manchester University) and London (Roundhouse) in 2012 to encourage submissions.

Kate Cheesewright - Here Come The PlebsThe finalists exhibition - 2013

Over 50 pieces were selected to be showcased as part of the final exhibition at The Peoples History Museum (Apr-Jun 13), by the project’s Curator Joshua Blackburn founder of Provokateur, an ethical communication agency, whose clients include Greenpeace and Amnesty.
The exhibition opens on April 20th 2013. With a press and VIP launch on Thursday 25th April, with special guest speaker, activist and comedian Mark Thomas. For more information please see here

As part of the Art of Protest at The People's History Museum, NOISE presents an evening of live music for the national 'Museums at Night' on Saturday May 18th 2013. Bringing a love and peace festival vibe, NOISEstock hosts some very special music guests. For more see here.

continue the conversation

Use the hashtag #artofprotest to tweet @noisefestival with your issues and concerns, or how you'd protest peacefully but with impact.


For further information about the NOISE Art of Protest project and press enquires please contact Lucy Scarisbrick, NOISE Communications Manager - communications@noisefestival.com

IMAGE CREDITS: gillian wearing -' i'm desperate', Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say / LIAM CARTER - OLD PEOPLE HATE US  / NEIL CONLeY - 'SNOW GLOBAL', PHOTO BY STEVE SIBBALD / KATE CHEESEWRIGHT, 'HERE COME THE PLEBS' /Manchester exhibition photos courtesy of Liam Carter and Steven Sibbald




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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] 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.