ProFest in action, Liverpool Street Station, London, August 2019
PROFEST [POLITICAL PROTEST + CARNIVAL + PERFORMANCE ART]
An art and activism project exploring and expressing the issues that matter to young women today
A four-day workshop at Autograph ABP with a group of young women from Islington. The workshop aimed to change the way young women are seen in the world, challenge stereotypes, and create their own empowering images. We worked to make creative protest campaigns to raise awareness of the urgent social issues they face in their lives. Taking inspiration from the powerful images in Lola Flash: [sur]passing exhibition and Autograph's archive, the young women created placards, collaging archive photographs together with their own personal photographs, text slogans and other graphics to make their message loud and clear.
On the final day of the workshop, we took the placards out into the public on what the group coined as a 'ProFest'—a mix of political protest, carnival and performance art. We started at Autograph's gallery surrounded by Lola Flash's artworks and then marched to Liverpool Street Station, chanting slogans, banging drums and sounding whistles along the way.
During the ProFest, the group engaged with members of the public who became interested in their campaign, helping to raise awareness of the diverse human rights issues faced by young women and issuing 'A Call to Care' - about issues including LGBTQIA representation, bodily autonomy, gender-based violence and negative stereotypes of young people.
ProFest marching in Shorditch to Liverpool Street Station
At Lola Flash: [sur]passing exhibition before the march