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Knowledge is Power –  A new Chap Book

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Inspired by Durham Teaching Assistants challenge and fight back against threatened pay cut and increased working hours by Durham City Council in 2016, this Chap Book brings together the powerful motif of the lion as an emblem of struggle and authority.

The lion image is the adopted logo of Durham TA’s and played an important part in driving their campaign forward.  Using social media, images and songs were uploaded and t-shirts and placards distributed.  The digital and analogue both played there part.

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40 years ago and reference to the lion was also made during the famous strike  (1976-2016) by Jayaben Desai,  just one of many workers striking over pay & conditions at the photo-processing plant at Grunwick.   Desia is quoted saying to her manager

“What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo.  But in a zoo there are many types of animals.  Some are monkeys who can dance on your fingertips, others are lions who can bite your head off.  We are those lions, Mr Manager.”

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The image created by this statement  is powerful and poetic.  Al-Mutanabbi, is considered one of the greatest Arabic poets from the 1st century.  His work speaks of courage and philosophy,

“When the lion bares his teeth, do not fancy that the lion shows to you a smile”.

2017 marks 10 years since the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, a street full of book sellers, cafes and stationers.

The cover illustrates ‘Knowledge is Power’, a woodcut printed & published by the Chartist, Henry Hetherington after the Peterloo Massacre. Hetherington played a leading role in the campaign against the heavy stamp duty taxation on newspapers and pamphlets.  Access to truthful and representative information was key to working class struggles then as it is today.  Controlling the content, distribution and consumption of information was key to the success of Durham TA’s, as pointed out by many of the TA’s who spoke at rallies, public meetings and support meetings.  It was imperative to inform the public of what was really going on.

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Knowledge is Power;

10.5x15cm

Silk Screen on Zerkall

Retail: £10 (+P&P)

Contact: theresa_easton@yahoo.co.uk for further details

Further  Chap Books & Artists Books HERE

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