Between the 22nd February and 16th March 2018, university staff (and students) across the UK took part in the largest strike within UK higher education for decades. Drawn from observations from the picket line, the graphic commentary can only partly capture the emancipatory spontaneity of the moment—the colourful banners and slogans, the music and dancing, the costumes, masks and material culture, testament to the creativity of all those participating. Just one of the creative outputs of the strike, the commentary plays a small part in revealing the action as a profoundly educational experience through which creativity, imagination and performance emerge through solidarity to produce the vision of a different future.
It also contributes to a wider turn towards multimodality and innovation in the production of ethnography, the focus of the workshop New ethnographic contexts and methodological innovation: creativity, imagination and performance funded through the Sociological Review taking place at the Centre for Ethnographic Research, University of Kent, June 2018.
Dimitrios Theodossopoulos is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent and Director of the Centre for Ethnographic Research.
*This is a deliberate play on the title of James Scott’s influential monograph Weapons of the Weak which focused on indirect resistance as a way of subverting power.