Talk Book now

The Visual Language of Protest

Join a panel of designers, artists and activists for a talk on the visual languages of protest.

What to expect

As protests have erupted across the globe over the last ten years, so has the need for graphic designers to help craft a new visual language for activists, occupiers and campaigners.

This talk will discuss the key visual forms that have been adopted by thousands of people to represent solidarity and communicate discontent – from banners, t-shirts and hats to internet memes and videos.

While technology has given people the tools to access, share and mass produce protest material, handcrafted material has also flourished, empowering individuals, inspiring the masses.

This event is part of a series of talks delivered in partnership with The Guardian.

Booking information

Adult: £12
Student/Concession: £8
Members: £9

Occupy Austin 2011, Photography: Charlie Llewellin, Creative Commons

Women's March Los Angeles 2017, credit Lindsey Lawrence

Image credit: Marco Fieber

Protest March in Portland Oregon, credit Scott Wong

Je suis Charlie banner outside Palais de Tokyo on January 10, 2015, credit Paul SKG

Occupy Wall Street, 2011, credit David E. Cooley


Mel Evans

Mel Evans is a writer, artist and campaigner part of Liberate Tate. Her book Artwash: Big Oil and the Arts was published by Pluto Press in 2015. She has contributed to various academic journals and books including Artwork: Art, Labour and Activism (2018). Mel was previously Head of Art & Editorial and now a clean air campaigner at Greenpeace UK.


Nina Power

Nina Power is a philosopher and cultural critic. She is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy the University of Roehampton. Nina has written extensively on feminist theory, art and activism and is the author of One Dimensional Woman.

Gavin Grindon

Gavin Grindon is a lecturer in art history and curating at The University of Essex. He co-curated the exhibition Disobedient Objects at the V&A, Cruel Designs at Banksy’s Dismaland, and co-curated the occupation museum at Banksy’s Walled Off Hotel. He is currently writing a book on the history of activist-art.

Jonathan Barnbrook

Jonathan Barnbrook and his studio are one of the most well-known design groups in Britain. They are known for their activist collaborations with the Occupy movement, Banksy on his Dismaland show and Adbusters. Jonathan’s contribution to graphic design was recognised by a major exhibition at the Design Museum in London in 2007.


Related exhibition

Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-18

Discover how graphic design has played a pivotal role in dictating and reacting to the major political moments of our times.

Background image: Protest in Brazil, credit Charles Albert Sholl