On Wednesday 5th February 2014 Gavin Brown will be giving a seminar at the University of Nottingham about the Non-Stop Picket project. His talk is called “Being ‘non-stop against apartheid’: the spatialities and temporalities of British solidarity activism in the late 1980s“. Here’s a bit about what he’ll be talking about:
The South African embassy picket had a distinct temporality. For nearly four years, it was non-stop. It worked with (and sometimes against) the rhythms of urban life. Although the Picket was a constant presence, how it looked, how it functioned and what it was like to be there changed throughout the day and across the week. Busy shifts passed quickly, but time moved more slowly when few people, picketers or public, were present. Quiet shifts during the day could be stressful, as picketers were stretched in keeping the Picket functioning; but many picketers preferred quieter overnight shifts precisely because they offered space for conviviality. The Picket was structured around particular weekly rituals and found ways of celebrating its longevity that served to recognise the commitment of existing activists and recruit new participants. In considering the way time passed and was marked on the Picket, this talk will examine the different rhythms of the protest – its daily, weekly and annual cycles. Sustaining a ‘non-stop’ protest around an ‘urgent’ global issue required non-stop commitment from core activists that was frequently hard to sustain. This talk reflects on the complex temporalities of the Non-Stop Picket and the lessons these might hold for contemporary protest movements.
The event starts at 4.00 p.m. in Room A31 of the Sir Clive Grainger Building (building 16 on this map) on the main University of Nottingham Campus. We look forward to seeing some of you there.