Sometimes the voice of the disaffected just demands to be heard, and the cry of dissension is ringing out loud and clear at the V&A in London, where a collection of the most interesting artistic tools of social change are set to be corralled like a sign-wielding mob being kettled by riot police at the gates of power this summer. The scope takes in international grassroots movements and covers a period from the late 1970s to the present.
Of course protesting can be a serious, and at times life-threatening, business, and there’s plenty in the Disobedient Objects exhibition to reflect that, including Mexican folk art dolls from the Mexican Zapatista revolution and textiles from Chile commemorating violent acts against opposition figures. But for those like me with a silly sense of humour, the most enjoyable items – many of which are on loan from active groups – are the ones that make their point through irreverent humour. You may have seen the recent banner in Australia telling Prime Minister Tony Abbott to “Resign, Dickhead”, which is in itself a piece of brilliance; these examples probably display more literary sophistication but they’re on the same wavelength. There’s proper arty art on display too, such as the silver inflatable cobblestones that were flung in Barcelona. Much more civilized than a bottle of piss. The show begins on 26 July and will run until 1 February.