Social Textiles

Poetry as protest in the Anthropocene

This paper interrogates the common threads between protest literature and banner sculptural poetry, while it also explores alternative forms that protest banners take and the way that these communicate with ideas surrounding ecological and social justice. Overall, it seeks to theorise and map contemporary sculptural poetries produced by women in the UK and beyond and, in the process, to provide an up-to-date account of this mode, not only from a critical angle but from a creative angle as well. The paper starts with considering poetry in banner form as a prominent element of protest with relevant work by Thalia Campbell and Maggie O’Sullivan, and then considering wearable art by Rachel Fallon as a dynamic and multisensory praxis. These materials and more are blended with relevant secondary literature review and creative responses. The textual banners presented here showcase innovative poetry’s potential to destabilise canons, reconfigure, and restitch our social and ecological stratification.