Exist To Resist

The photographic celebration of rave, sound system, activism and festival culture returns with a Kickstarter campaign

After the incredible success of the first highly limited edition of Exist To Resist in 2017, it’s time to publish a second edition, in order to document this important moment in history for a new generation about to be impacted by the negative consequences of draconian new laws.

EXIST TO RESIST v2.0 is a social history book by photographer MATTKO (Matthew Smith), born out of a love for UK's rave, sound system, and festival culture. It is a photographic celebration of community gathering and grass roots activism in images captured between 1989 and 1997. It is a diary of celebration and opposition made from strong artistic conviction.

MATTKO said -

_"It is the duty of any modern artist to document they times they live through. But the real trick is to weaponise that history, in order to create a better future for generations to come." _

Thirty years on from the passing of the original Criminal Justice and Public Order Act that limited the power of people to protest against government policy, it is now time to remind audiences of the spirit of community and inclusivity free from state control that the resulting protests embodied.

On Mayday 1994 massed ranks of the free party faithful gathered in Trafalgar Square on the first of three huge marches in London during that summer to mark their opposition to the government of the day, and its plans to outlaw a culture that has gone on to become one of the UK’s most successful creative industries. These protests were echoed by similar events in every major city around the country. Acid house and rave served as the musical soundtrack that united disparate tribes behind one mission: to gather, dance, celebrate and protest together for free.

MATTKO immersed himself in this culture of protest, and was present with his camera to document key events at this important moment in history.

With recent government strategies to restrict personal freedom, and decimate the rights to legitimately voice public dissatisfaction with government failures, it is now time to tell that story once again. The right to oppose and resist is as important to democracy today as it was when these photographs were taken.

Exist To Resist v2.0 is a beautifully produced homage to the enduring power of resistance and DIY culture which is as relevant today as the subjects documented within its pages. The book makes a powerful statement about our contemporary political landscape by looking at the lost freedoms of our recent past, relating that to our present and imminent future.

Powerful and lyrical images are presented with an expanded Contextual Analysis, informed by new research, that evaluates the key government policy of the times, and a Consequential Analysis that brings the book right up to date.

Exist To Resist v2.0 is currently in Kickstarter funding mode, and we would like to invite you to get involved in generating public support for this great project.

Kickstarter here.