SUBVERTISING: STRATEGIES FOR RESISTANCE AGAINST CORPORATE POWER
In this world we live in, when you get something for free, you are the product being sold. From public spaces to social media, you are constantly being exploited by the advertising industry. They just want to know your desires, they say, because only then you will be offered what you really want. But in truth, it’s your own desires they create.
Corporate advertising influences every aspect of society: from how we feel about ourselves – our bodies, our understandings of gender, race and class – through to our perceptions of others and the world. Advertising doesn’t simply sell us products – it shapes the meaning of our lives.
To fight this massive-scale manipulation of our consciousness means also to tackle multiple social and environmental justice issues. In this spirit, activists around the world challenge corporate power in public space with provocative, ironic, seditious art. This is subvertising.
Brandalism, one of the most prolific groups of artists in the field, will take you in a journey into the world of subvertising, and show you how we can fight and reclaim our freedom to think, to create, and to desire. Join them in a discussion of how we can achieve this collective transformation together.
Leonardo Sias (Bio)
Leonardo Sias is a PhD candidate in Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. He studied philosophy in Milan, Paris, and Utrecht, and lived and worked in London, Berlin, and Medellín. His research focuses on nihilism, critical theory, and activist groups engaging with advertising. He collaborates occasionally with psytrance festivals. He also writes (in Italian) of politics and culture on The Vision: http://thevision.com/author/leonardo-sias.
An international collective of artists that challenge corporate power in public space around the world. The team actively works with frontline social justice and environmental justice movements to share creative activism tactics, skills and theory to aid groups in their political struggles. They also activate their online archive of over 400 social and environmental justice artworks via exhibitions, programmes and presentations in the UK and internationally.
They began in July 2012 in England with a small team in a van. Over subsequent interventions, Brandalism has spread across ten UK cities and in 2015 to Paris for the UN climate talks. In 2016/17 they established an international network that has spread across 16 countries to date, including various EU states, the US and within the global south.