The People’s History Museum in Manchester is bringing together a collection of compelling posters created in Hull as part of the seminal Rock Against Racism movement. 

From fly-posting to picture frame, from street to gallery, these artworks still pack a visual punch and present a powerful reminder of the continuing battle against racism.  

Originally part of a radical movement in community activism in the late 1970s, RAR brought together musicians, artists, trade unionists, students and residents at a time of heightened political and racial tension to celebrate tolerance and diversity, whilst campaigning against those seeking to destroy basic human rights.  

The posters were heavily influenced by music, particularly the punk and DIY ethic of the time. Many of the graphics were done collectively, led by new and accessible technology, which saw a move over to offset litho from traditional letterpress techniques. The aim was to have as much instant visual impact as possible, using pop culture and striking graphics to reach a young audience and get them engaged with the RAR movement.

This exhibition is sponsored by the East Riding National Union of Teachers and brings together some of the most visually arresting examples of work to reveal how these posters are as relevant now as ever.

The exhibition will be open daily 10am-5pm. Suitable for all ages. Entry is free, but In order to keep the exhibitions programme affordable to everyone, visitors are requested to make a donation.

People’s History Museum Curator Chris Burgess comments: “This exhibition tells a really interesting story about how one particular group used graphic design to politically engage and empower a new audience. It’s a great opportunity for people to see these works together in one place and to learn more about the fascinating backdrop of the Rock Against Racism movement.”


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