This exhibition runs from Tue, 6th Jul 2021 to Fri, 30th Jul 2021. See all dates
This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:
Cost: Free of Charge
Raves and Riots brings together a collection of diaristic photographs drawn from a period spanning 1990-2004, documenting the artist’s experiences as part of the free party and traveller community. The images juxtapose the sense of escapism and euphoria of this unique cultural moment with the oppressive political climate which outlawed the lifestyles of those responsible for Britain’s rave scene.
Leaving home aged seventeen, Petersen moved to a London squat and quickly became immersed in the free party scene that exploded across Europe in the 1990s. She began taking photographs as a means of recording experiences of a subversive new way of living as part of a community of travellers and close friends.
The free party wave enraptured Britain’s young generation following the explosion of rave, techno and ecstasy in 1989, when crowds of up to twenty-five thousand gathered in countryside locations for illegal all-night parties. Whilst the movement was born of music and hedonism, it quickly became a vehicle for civil disobedience and defiance of authority, as portrayed in images of Petersen and her friends attending protests contesting the political backlash against their way of living.
The 1994 Criminal Justice Bill created a hostile environment for the squatters, travellers and rave organisers that made up the artist’s immediate social circle. In response, Petersen and those closest to her adopted a nomadic lifestyle, transporting powerful sound systems across Europe in truck convoys, setting up parties in countryside locations on the outskirts of urban areas. Petersen remained on the road until a few months before the birth of her son in 2005.
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