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20 Years of Stop the War: A Visual Retrospective

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 to Sunday, September 19, 2021
Private View: 
Friday, September 10, 2021 - 18:00
Opening Hours: 
Tue-Sun 10am-4pm
Nunnery Gallery, 181 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ

Great protest movements have always inspired artists. The anti-war movement of the last 20 years is no exception.  

Stop the War Coalition is pleased to present a twenty year account of artistic output in the anti-war movement. NO bridges the work of art and activism and brings the movement to life with remarkable immediacy. Contained in it are articles of both art and history that will forever be marked by the many millions that took to our city’s streets and mobilised with our cause. The exhibition comprises diverse mediums and styles; shock-value placards, stitched banner work, textile art, music, film, photography, prints, paintings and site-specific installations.

The works are culled from the organisation’s archives and wider artistic collections. They include the recurring blood-splat placards by David Gentleman, Vivienne Westwood’s calico prayer flags and satirical anti-Trump placard originals, now produced in a limited giclee series for this exhibition. There is kennardphillips’s Tony Blair selfie, ‘Photo Op’, which was projected on Westminster Central Hall the night before Blair gave evidence at the Chilcot Enquiry, and Brian Eno’s unpublished musical work relating to the Iraq war. On view are Banksy’s cardboard placards that were once distributed by close friends and marched through the 2003 mass London protest, two of which bear the original ‘Stop The War, 15 February 2003’ sticker. These works and more are witness to the way art and activism often pass the baton.

In the process of mobilising huge numbers of people against foreign wars, the Stop the War movement has inspired a wide range of artists, designers, filmmakers, photographers and musicians. They have used their skills to help the movement project its message, to create a vibrant record of its activities and produce a body of anti-war art that has spoken personally to millions.  

The movement which began in 2001 with demonstrations against the invasion of Afghanistan, mobilised millions against the Iraq war, and continued protesting over Palestine and the Middle East wars, sparked the political consciousness of a whole generation.  

This exhibition is the product of this encounter. It provides a brief history of the movement and some idea of the remarkable creativity that truly popular mobilisation can unleash. 

Stop the War would like to thank Yield Gallery, AB Projects London and Jealous Gallery for the loaning of works and support throughout the exhibition.

Free, drop-in exhibition


View Press Release here

NO! Artist Biographies

Note: The gallery will be closed to the public on the morning of Wednesday 8 September for a Press Viewing.

Please note that 20 Years of Stop the War: A Visual Retrospective is a Nunnery Gallery Venue Hire and is not part of Bow Arts regular programming.



Access Information

Nunnery Gallery has step-free access throughout from street level which includes an accessible toilet and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system.

Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road.

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email or call 020 8980 7774 (Ext. 3)

Travel Information

Opening hours: Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm
Address: Nunnery Gallery, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ
Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away.
Bus:205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area.
Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Bow Church Station.

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