REVOLUTIONARY FESTIVAL ESSEX UNIVERSITY.
Original poster announcing the Revolutionary Festival at Essex University, February 10-12, 1969. Silkscreen, printed in black on white stock by the Poster Workshop, Camden, north London. 77x50.7cm. Illustrated with a boldly-drawn graphic depicting a chain breaking apart.
In his memoir of the 1960s, co-organiser Michael Prior described the event as “both more and less than anyone expected. A few hundred people pitched up including assorted poets and playwrights. Jean-Luc Godard wandered around filming so there is to this day, so I am told, some kind of record. A car was towed into the square and set on fire. Various meetings were held and disrupted in desultory kind of ways” (“Dreams and Reality: Memoirs and Writings”, 2007). Hilary Creek and Anna Mendelssohn, both future members of the Angry Brigade, were students at Essex, but their involvement or otherwise in the festival is unrecorded.
In “Promise of a Dream: Remembering the Sixties” (2000), Sheila Rowbotham wrote of how “Essex and Cambridge produced a new spirit of anarcho-situationist politics which targeted well-known media figures as sinister agents of the ‘spectacle’ “, and also of how “partly because of the Black Dwarf Women’s Issue it was decided to have a meeting at the [Revolutionary] festival on women. This was to be our first public meeting” (now regarded as one of the founding moments of the Women’s Liberation movement in Britain).
Poster Workshop stamp to lower right corner (in June 1969, after ripping up his final exam papers at Cambridge, another future member of the Angry Brigade, John Barker, helped out at the Workshop alongside his friend, former Essex activist Chris Bott).
Somewhat edge-worn, with two short tears to left edge and small loss to lower right corner; old corner pinholes; some creasing and superficial wear. Very Good.