We are currently working on an artist activist book called Four Boys (for Beuys) which charts our four sons’ first protests.
Basically, we, the parents, tell them, the children, about their first protest, and then they write it up, reinventing it, refiguring it and fictionalising it on the way, as much as they are able or willing to do given their age (14, 12, 7 and 16 months!). This is our radical family history storytelling.
The four protests (May Day 2001, Anti Iraq War 2003, G20 Meltdown and Climate Camp in the City 2009 and National Demonstration for Gaza 2014) will also be narrated by four artists/activists who were also there at the protest and can offer their own specific account of the event. We have also commissioned an essay by Anna Feigenbaum on the history of social movements in the UK from 2000 to 2015 – time since we’ve been parents.
This is an opportunity for the whole family to rethink their protest history as well as understand where we stand now and what are we mobilizing towards.
Four Boys (for Beuys) was presented as a provocation at Storytelling and Activism symposium at the University of South Wales in late April. We would like to thank Emily Underwood-Lee for inviting us and thus giving us an opportunity to develop this project and book.