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A Disobedient Object

In the 1960s and 1970s, a group of young Londoners were recruited to carry out secret missions in resistance to South African apartheid - a system that separated people according to race. They were clandestine and the actions they carried out used everyday items which were turned into radical weapons of protest.

One such device was the leaflet bomb - a household bucket fitted with a small firework and packed with leaflets supporting the resistance. They would be detonated in places where black workers would pass through with the intent of spreading messages of hope and defiance.

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A Disobedient Object

The London Recruits distributed a variety of leaflets throughout their campaign - it follows a long tradition of activist groups using printed material to get their messages across.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a group of young Londoners were recruited to carry out secret missions in resistance to South African apartheid - a system that separated people according to race. They were clandestine and the actions they carried out used everyday items which were turned into radical weapons of protest.

From flyers and postcards to stickers and billboards, printed words and images have marched hand in hand with social change movements as disobedient objects.

One such device was the leaflet bomb - a household bucket fitted with a small firework and packed with leaflets supporting the resistance. They would be detonated in places where black workers would pass through with the intent of spreading messages of hope and defiance.

Leaflet Bomb
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The Disobedient Objects leaflet bomb contains the messages of people who have viewed this film.

Use the slider to the left to set the number of leaflets, then click the bucket to detonate.

This leaflet forms part of the Disobedient Objects online bucket bomb and was submitted on {{information.submission.created_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy'}} at {{information.submission.created_at | date:'hh:mm'}}.

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Londonrecruits
The secret war against apartheid

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Disobedient Objects

From Suffragette teapots to protest robots, this exhibition was the first to examine the powerful role of objects in movements for social change.

It demonstrated how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity and collective creativity that defy standard definitions of art and design.

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