Thursday 9 December 2010

Peasants Revolt at Museum of London (and Westminister)

Red Saunders

Peasants' Revolt at Museum of London

by: Spoonfed Arts Team

Rebellion is in the air...

What with the nation's students rioting like it's 1968 all over again, and all and sundry striking like Thatcher's back in town, it seems the spirit of rebellion is very much in the air. What better time then for the Museum of London to unveil a photographic recreation of Watt Tyler's Peasants' Revolt of 1381 produced by the founder of Rock Against Racism?

The dark, bloody and intense photo tableau is part of Hidden, a series of three images taken by photographer Red Saunders, and unleashed on the public this week at the Museum of London. The other works recreate similar scenes of heroic rebellion – there's black chartist William Cuffay campaigning for the vote in Whitechapel, alongside bookish revolutionary and United States Founding Father, Thomas Paine. Funny to think that the current US Tea Party are such fervent devotees of the author of The Rights of Man, in which Paine spoke out against organised religion, and Christianity in particular...

Saunders himself says: “I recreate important moments in the long struggle of working people for democracy and social justice. History has been dominated by kings, queens, war and 'great men’. Hidden engages with a different historical narrative involving dissenters, revolutionaries and radicals.”