Protestors’ shields

Grabouw protesters' shields

Grabouw protesters’ shields

The image above is cropped from a photo by Courtney Africa published in the Cape Times on Wednesday 17 September 2014, p.4, showing young protestors in Grabouw during service delivery protests which saw 5 schools closed. They hold improvised shields. At left is the gun of a policeman – police fired rubber bullets, and protestors threw stones. Courtney supplied the archive with some more photographs, below, and this comment:

In the picture above the guys were shielding stone throwers. Others would roll stones/rocks to them from further behind as the materials for making ‘shields’ seemed scarce.

Protestors shieldsprotestors_shields_3 protestors_shields_4

Suited for Subversion

Suited for Subversion

Suited for Subversion

Suited for Subversion is a project to create a suit that protects the wearer at large-scale street protests. The suit also monitors the wearer’s pulse and projects an amplified heartbeat out of a speaker in the chest of the suit. I designed and fabricated the first prototype of the suit as part of my Masters Degree in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. The project draws on my work as an activist involved in street demonstrations in New York, and is influenced by the work of other activists and demonstrators who wear protective clothing and make creative use of tools and technologies for protest. As much as my suit is armour, it is also disarming; as much provocation as protection. Suited for Subversion was part of the exhibition SAFE: Design Takes on Risk at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2005/2006. The first edition was purchased by the Museum in 2006.

– Ralph Borland, 2014