Bears against bombs

It’s that man Brian Haw again, this time in a Guardian article on his former protest materials being recreated in Tate Britain by artist Mark Wallinger.

I like this excerpt from the end of the piece:
“However critical such art may itself be, it also serves to highlight the institution’s liberalism, by allowing it to be there in the first place. Such inclusiveness, as Susan Sontag argued, defuses the very criticism being offered. What State Britain offers is a sort of portrait of British institutions at a time of war, of the lip service government pays to dissent, on the attacks being made on our freedoms in the name of security, on the impotence of protest and of art itself as a form of protest. How rich this work is, and how saddening our state.”

And no, I have not become Brian’s press officer it’s just hard to get him out of my head when I think that he’s standing by the traffic in the cold as I sit in comfort writing this blog. The film I did of him at Christmas has had 817 hits as of today and 17 ratings. It seems at once a lot and then nothing. If YouTube-type journalism is to be an alternative to the mainstream for me then I am going to have to learn how to get it out there better.

Which reminds me, the person getting tonnes of hits on Iraq goes by the username of freedomandemocracy. You can see an example of the powerful work here. It raises once more the question of how best to get people moving, how to engage them in political issues. Does it work?


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