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Peace and Pandemic: Links to Our Collection

Our collection tells the stories of those who have peacefully campaigned against nuclear weapons and called for international action to put an end to the nuclear threat for future generations. The covid-19 pandemic also requires a global response to work towards a vaccine and treatment and global efforts to think about future responses to pandemics.

In this video, our Curator Charlotte discusses some of these objects:

Here are some of the objects featured in the video. What do you think? Can we learn from the campaigners of the past and apply these ideas to the covid-19 pandemic?

Credit: Thalia Campbell Design.

The banner `No H Bombs Not Even Nye’s Or The P.Reviews’ was made when the Labour Party introduced their policy review in the late 1980s. This review saw the rejection of policies that were working towards a nuclear free country and marked a change for the Labour Party policy.  

Credit: Thalia Campbell Design.

The banner, `The British People Are Prepared To Be Blown To Atomic Dust If Necessary‘, quotation from Lord Home 1961. This is a Birmingham CND banner made by Thalia Campbell. There are three versions of this banner, original 1961, this one mid 1980s, and another in Oberhausen, Germany. 

Credit: Thalia Campbell Design.

The banner is from the Nuclear Free Zone campaign. Two of these banners were made, one for the Nuclear Free Zone office in Manchester and another for the `100 Years of Women’s Banners’ exhibition. Manchester was the first city in the world to declare itself a Nuclear Free Zone back in 1980.

Credit: Thalia Campbell Design.

The banner `Girls Say No To The Bombs‘ is from the early 1980s and was used during the early days of Greenham Common. Although it received some flack because of the use of the word ‘girls’, which some women found demeaning, it was supposed to mean young girls.

Credit: Bradford Council.

This poster reads ‘Have a Peaceful Week in Bradford. Visit Bradford … before bits of Bradford visit you!’. It was devised to enable Bradford Council to put an advertisement in CND journal; this was the only way in which the Council could support CND as they were not allowed to simply give them a grant. The poster was advertising Bradford as a tourism destination, whilst also backing the CND.

Credit: Gea Austen.

CND Badges These are the original CND badges made in 1958 by Eric Austen. You can see they are all slightly different as they were not mass-produced. 

Credit: Central Office of Information.

‘Protect and Survive’ Booklet published in 1980 by the Home Office to explain how to make a home safe from nuclear attack. 

Protest and Survive objects:

In response to the government issued Protect and Survive, the Protest and Survive booklet by E.P.Thompson was produced in the 1980s, with the CND and the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation. It argues for a nuclear-free Europe and describes the potentially destructive effects of nuclear weapons. It also promotes scepticism towards official government statements regarding the use of nuclear weapons and the idea that the strategy of deterrence will only lead to more usable weapons. 

Credit: CND

Poster produced by CND that advertised the idea of ‘Protest and Survive’. 

Credit: CND

‘Citizens Survival Kit’ with instructions for use in the event of a nuclear attack. It’s a satirical response to the Protect and Survive booklet, suggesting that there is no way to survive a nuclear attack so you may as well just use a paper bag.

Credit: The Peace Museum 

This postcard shows a photograph taken at Greenham Common Peace Camp. It shows two of the protestors wearing the citizens survival bag.

Credit: Photograph by Raissa Page. Copyright: Adrianne Jones – courtesy of The Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University. Not to be used without permission.

‘Chernobyl 1986, Britain 1996?’ leaflet produced by CND, It compares the likelihood of the Chernobyl disaster that happened in 1986 with Britain in 1996 and asks for support for a nuclear free future. 

Credit: CND

Chernobyl Children Need Your Help’ leaflet produced by a Welsh Aid convoy from the Chernobyl Children’s Project UK. The CCP mission is to help those in Belarus whose lives continue to be blighted by the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The events of Chernobyl have recently come back into the public’s consciousness with the release of a drama on Sky Atlantic about the disaster.

Credit: Chernobyl Children’s Project UK

This poster, titled ‘The End’ is an example of the global anti-nuclear campaign. It was designed and produced by Japanese designer Masuteru Aoba. Aoba gained his reputation through the creation of posters that focused on social and environmental issues, this included the use of nuclear weapons and power. He was known for his use of bright colors and short simple slogans. 

Credit: Masuteru Aoba Design

Poster,  ‘Armaments A Great Danger For The World’ produced by the Polish Peace Peace Committee warning of the danger of armaments for the world.

Credit: Polish Peace Committee

Roof tiles from buildings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki an example of the destruction caused by the dropping of the atomic bombs. 

Credit: The Peace Museum 

What do you think we can learn from these objects? 

Feeling inspired?

Watch this video by artist Marianne Matusz about how we can use poster art for peace and create your own: