Mark Teh, Hafiz Nasir, Dolores Galindo, Svein Møxvold

Protest, performance, archive, exhibition, booklet

Project "Save Our Placards!" and Group Project report.

ON 26 MARCH 2011, an estimated 500,000 people marched through central London to demonstrate against proposed reductions in government spending. Co-ordinated by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the march took place three days after the first budget statement of the then new Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government. Under the banner of March for the Alternative, the demonstration was one of the largest street protests ever to take place in the UK. As part of their MA in Art and Politics, a team of students from Goldsmiths, University of London, persuaded the Museum of London to experiment with how it engaged with the demonstration. The Goldsmiths team – Mark Teh, Hafiz Nasir, Svein Moxvold, Dolores Galindo and Guy Atkins – wanted to see how museum collections could become part of a contemporary protest, and to explore what would happen if protesters helped the museum decide which objects should be acquired to represent the demonstration in its collections. In doing so, the project Save Our Placards! asked the museum to let go of some standard safeguards, procedures and assumptions, to trust in a participatory approach, and to collect at the moment.