Celebration of those who resisted war

Hastings Arts Forum is staging a new exhibition by local artist Emily Johns starting next week that celebrates the people and movements that resisted the First World War and is timed to coincide with 100th anniversary of the end of WW1.

The exhibition will open at Hastings Arts Forum, 36 Marina, St Leonards-on-Sea, TN38 0BU on Tuesday and entrance is free, it runs until Sunday November 11th.

The World is My Country features ten images by Johns whose work has appeared in Eastbourne’s Towner gallery, the Whitechapel Art Gallery and Department for Transport’s Business Design Centre and will also feature eight specially-commissioned poems and songs.

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The stories highlighted in the exhibition feature people from across the world, including: suffragettes and Maori princesses, disobedient soldiers and German munitions workers, a nonviolent Irish revolutionary and Wales’ greatest philosopher. The poems include work by renowned contemporary poets Alan Brownjohn, Anna Robinson and Mererid Hopwood.

The exhibition runs side-by-side with a second exhibition Protest & Thrive, inspired by the graphic art of American artist Sister Corita Kent and the protest placards of British peace activist Richard Crump. An open evening for the two exhibitions will take place from 6.30 – 8.30pm on Saturday November 3rd. The exhibition will be open 11am – 5pm, Tues – Sun.

On Friday November 9th from 7pm to 9pm Johns will be joined by local campaigner Gabriel Carlyle for a free talk about the history behind the images and an exploration of the German revolution that accompanied the end of WW1.

Emily Johns said: “Over the past four years the 100th anniversary of the First World War has seen a tidal wave of events, exhibitions, TV series, books and commemorations. However, one key aspect of the War’s history has received little or no attention: the history and stories of the people and organisations around the world that opposed the conflict, and took action to stop it.

“Perhaps unsurprisingly, therefore, this history – of police raids and buried documents, feminist peace initiatives and clandestine printing presses, African deserters and revolutionary lion-tamers – remains little known to the general public. We need to remember and celebrate this history, as well as the chutzpah of the people who made it.”

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