Murals

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Painting murals is one way in which communities record their stories, and pass them on to new generations. In this exercise, participants research the history of The Cable Street
Mural, and are invited to design the own.

You will need:

-Newsreel footage and information (links below)
-Paper
-Pencils
-Coloured pencils

The London Murals Preservation Society was founded in 2010 to protect these works. To read through their guide to the history of the Cable Street Mural, click here.

History can sometimes be contentious, and creating a mural to mark The Battle of Cable Street was by no means an easy task. After reading the article above, can you describe what the pictures below show, and guess in what years they might have been taken?

A mural commemorating the 1936 Battle of Cable Street, after being vandalized.

Cable Street Mural

You may have noticed that one of our interviewees, Dan Jones, commissioned the murals. Before painting, the muralist Dave Binnginton spent time researching the Battle of Cable Street by looking at ‘photographs and news reports,  newsreel footage and interviewing local residents.’
In this activity, you’re invited to take on the role of a community muralist, by researching events and designing your own mural to mark the battle of Lewisham, 1977.

  1. To get an insight into the muralists working life, watch this newsreel footage from The Battle of Cable Street or search for online articles to find at least three things that the artist depicted in the mural.
  2. Watch this silent footage, read this article and/or listen to our audios about Lewisham (available on the timeline, 1977). Pick at least three things to depict in a mural about the event.
  3. Use this information to draw your own design for a mural marking The Battle of Lewisham in 1977.

Learning outcomes

The main purpose of this activity is to engage participants in historical research and
gathering information about an historical event.

Another key aspect is developing skills in art and design. Participants will be asked to
produce a public artwork based on a specific brief and informed by their own research.

Alternatives

  1. Think about events that have happened locally to you – whether a story you’ve been told, or an event, such as a carnival, that you’ve been to.
  2. Research the event by writing down your own memories and those of your friends/teachers/parents, reading articles, or recording local people’s memories.
  3. Use this to design your own community mural.

More activities

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