London (along with other macro-cities) is one of the most neo-liberal cities in the world. Privatisation, precariety, inequality, surveillance, employment abuse, housing abuse, gentrification, competition, individualism and fragmentation are realities that define the way we all produce and reproduce life in this metropolis, in a much higher degree than in other still capitalist urban landscapes. Whenever we walk London’s streets we are confronted with an avalanche of signs, symbols and messages that aim to turn our lives into mere commodities. Everything gravitates around capital, everything’s got a price, and everything is for sale. Even toxic relationships can now be picked up from e-catalogues within another consequent toxic culture. Since we can’t afford to live where we work and we work big time to pay these bills, we can then keep reproducing this full-blown glorification of busy that separate us from everybody and everything including ourselves. However, access to the commons and to the basics of life are still limited or denied by an over-priced, utterly restrictive, abusive and unfair set of policies imposed from above.
At the same time, we see all around us a myriad of groups, campaigns, autonomous spaces, initiatives and networks that struggle to turn this reality upside down in order to defend the right to the city. To turn London into a place that is worth living in, and that includes everyone that chooses to make it home, before coming to the term of escaping it.
Propagate is convinced that for these struggles to become visible and have an impact in this already saturated environment, we need to come up with strong and well-thought strategies and visuals that bring our messages to the fore. That’s why they came up with the idea of a collective that will specifically work on visual communication as a tool for amplifying the grassroots social struggles going on in London at the present time. From housing justice to migrants rights, anti-austerity policies, workers rights and civil rights…Their aim is to stimulate and contribute to the collective direct action of reclaiming London by sharing ideas, passion, resources and knowledge that produce collective intelligence.