The difference between ‘Do It Yourself’ and a manifesto is action. Lots of people use anonymity as a shield to spout all sorts of nonsense; just look at the news. But once a group processes and accepts that no help is coming and starts to organize, it empowers itself in a way nearly impossible to describe. It can feel subversive, like they’re getting away with something. And they are. Creation feels like making a stand, because it is. Like one of the great punks of modern cinema said: “No. YOU move.”
Rubika Shah‘s White Riot embraces and explores the DIY aesthetic the furious, terrified members of Rock Against Racism used as shield, megaphone and spanner in the works of 1970s British racism. Scenes are assembled from newspaper cuttings, transitions hum with energy that feels like the 1960s Batman TV show with a safety pin through its nose. Spreads from Temporary Hoarding, the Rock Against Racism zine, are recreated wholesale to tell their story.
Do It Yourself. And they did.