Liverpool Biennial’s artist Koki Tanaka to recreate the School Students’ Strike of 1985

For Liverpool Biennial 2016, artist Koki Tanaka is revisiting the School Students’ Strike of 1985 by recreating the protest in Liverpool in early June. The artist is looking for original participants, their children and current students, to lead on a walk through the city from St George’s Hall to the Pier Head, starting at 1pm and retracing the original route. The event will be filmed and shown at Open Eye Gallery throughout the Biennial.

In April 1985, children in Liverpool and cities across the country took to the streets in an impromptu strike against the Conservative Government’s Youth Training Scheme. The Liverpool strike was the largest in the country, with 10,000 children participating.

Tanaka invites citizens to join him in on a day in early June at St Georges Hall from 1pm – the time the original march started – where he will begin a walk through the city. The invitation is open to those who took part in the original strike in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Glasgow and beyond, their children, current students, and those interested in being part of recreating this iconic movement. As well as walking the original route, original participants are encouraged to share their memories of 1985 and reflect on how the strike relates to both the present and future. The artist will also be passing on the role of interviewing participants to students. Everyone is invited to bring placards with text or images revealing their current social or political concerns.

Koki Tanaka said, “The energy, joy and optimistic feeling in the Dave Sinclair’s images of the march really struck me. I wanted to work with those involved to look back at what happened, and wonder if any have children and how they feel about the current social situation in the UK, in particular the current Work Experience Scheme, which is not dissimilar from the Youth Training Scheme of 1985.”

Get Involved

If you were involved in the original 1985 strike, are a current student, or are just interested in being part of this work, then please contact:

Jennifer Watts
0151 203 3578

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