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A RIOT OF OUR OWN

A RIOT OF OUR OWN
PHOTOGRAPHS BY SYD SHELTON 1976-1981
CURATED BY CAROL TULLOCH

11 September 2012 – 23 September 2012
Galerija Makina, Pula

The exhibition is part of “TU SMO” 3 (We Are Here 3) an international multimedia event organised by The Museum of Contemporary Art Istria.

The exhibition ‘A Riot Of Our Own’ looks at the Rock Against Racism (RAR) Movement of 1976 to1981, through 41 photographs by Syd Shelton. The exhibition was originally shown at CHELSEAspace London, in 2008. It was the idea of the artist Lara Ritosa-Roberts to show ‘A Riot of Our Own’ in Croatia and she secured Galerija Makina as the venue.

Syd was a RAR (London) committee member and key graphic designer of its associated material such as, the paper Temporary Hoarding. He photographed performers such as ‘The Clash’, Elvis Costello’, ‘Misty n Roots’ and ‘The Specials’, members of the audience at RAR gigs across England and carnivals as in the history making RAR Carnival 1 at Victoria Park, London in 1978 and demonstrations as in another defining moment the ‘Anti National Front Demonstration’, Lewisham, London in 1977. Syd also took contextual social and cultural images that informed the politics of the movement across England and Ireland.

Between 1976 and 1981 RAR confronted racist ideology, particularly that of the far-right organisation the National Front, in the streets, parks, town halls and pavilions across Britain. Syd’s photographs provide another aspect of that historical moment. Through this tangent, ‘A Riot of our Own’ revisits the energy of RAR, the creative entanglement of black and white musicians, designers, writers, actors, performers and supporters who produced effective counter-narratives to whiteness as superior and blackness as alienated. His photographs remind us that RAR was a particular treatise on belonging in Britain.

Monday 10 September, 2012