With Twin‘s imminent fourth edition all about rebellion, the time couldn’t be riper for Flash Projects’ latest pop-up photography show, Street Fighting Man: Fifty Years of Youth Protest. Recent months have seen an electric surge in youthful uprising, as the young and angry have taken to the streets in a way not seen for over a decade. From the top up fees protests in London to last week’s riot against Tesco’s in Bristol, a new generation is asserting itself in ways reminiscent of the Sixties’ student protests.
Taking its name from The Rolling Stones‘ track, Street Fighting Man, which was inspired by Mick Jagger’s experience of an anti-war demonstration in 1968, the celebrates how youth culture and media have conspired to create historic moments over the past fifty years. Bands like The Rolling Stones, whose concerts were often accompanied by riots, and The Clash were mouthpieces for fans. While photographer Caroline Coon’s pictures of punk bands The Sex Pistols and The Slits not only record a seminal scene but asserted the right to individual identity. Today, these images of the Brixton and Poll Tax riots are a reminder of how difficult times breed discontent and dissidence. Often change doesn’t come quietly, it resounds on the streets.
Street Fighting Man. 50 years of youth protest is on at Flash Projects, 5 Savile Row, W1S 3PD until the 4th June 2011.