Resistance is not terrorism
On August 1st 2005, the government introduced the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA), in an attempt to evict Brian Haw from his long standing peace protest opposite the gates of Parliament. Section 132 of the Act created a 1km exclusion zone around Westminster, making protest a criminal offence in this area. Brian remains outside parliament because laws cannot be introduced retrospectively. His battle continues in the High Court. For the rest of us though, protest can lead to arrest, detention and criminal proceedings. If arrested you will be searched, photographed, fingerprinted and have your DNA taken.
The SOCPA laws have eroded our rights to freedom of speech and expression, the very foundation upon which democracy is built. Fear of terrorism has become the justification for an array of measures, which undermine our freedoms.
My work explores the implications of this Act and aims to defy it. Covert political actions are staged and the camera used simply as a recording device of the more important actions that take place. The use of photography, by the State, is examined and re-appropriated in act of defiance and empowerment.
‘48 Activists with quote from Wim Wenders’ references and subverts the police mugshots taken after arrest. Each mugshot,, is in itself an illegal protest within the exclusion zone and acts as both, defiant protest in favour of free speech and as a covert reclaimation of public space.
My body of work is comprised of staged and documentary photographs, official documents and police records, sound, and a book.
SOCPA section 132
Serious & Organised
Police and Crime Act